Yassin's Poems

Letter to My Mom

Dear Mother:
They thought I was ashamed
that my color is brown
They wanted me to plead guilty
for my nationality
They do not understand
how proud I am that you are my mom
My eyes and your eyes,
my color and your color,
are the same
They do not know
how happy I am
with my identity

When I was a child
all you asked
was that I be thankful
and grateful.
I was neither.
If only I could find the words
to convince myself
that I was true to you…
if I had lived until now
in genuine
gratitude and devotion,
perhaps your spirit
would rise above death
and live!

All that I knew
about the world, about reality,
was in the mirror
of your tears.
I lived in reflected
and now,
without a homeland,
without a home,
alone and lost,
I am more than ever
your heart's resident.

I saw mournful visions
through your eyes.
Now I see with
my own eyes
and truly understand
your sorrow:
our land is still occupied,
still ruined,
our wronged people
still fight for their identity,
besieged and embargoed,
and upon the summit
of our high mountains
our flag still does not fly!

Dear Mother:
When you gave birth to me
you challenged war,
you defied our enemies,
you defeated death
and poverty,
your hope
destroyed hopelessness.
This too is true:
in the midst of anguish
you proved that
joy lives. You are
the spring of my love,
the calendar
of my memory.

2009 by Yassin Aref

November 21, 2009

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