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Back to: Poetry

AND SHE WHO…

Adapted from “HABITER BEYROUTH”
by
Mishka Mojabber Mourani

AND SHE WHO

And she who waits in vain for the return of an Americanized son;
And she who goes abroad taking her city with her;
And she who lays her head on the steering wheel caught in the tentacles of a Beirut traffic jam;
And she who looks at her watch yet again and waits for the result of her pelvic exam;
And she whose stethoscope examines an anxious old man;
And she who reaches for the hand of her unconscious father;
And she who is told that her child inherits her blood but not her nationality;
And she who plays soccer with her older brother and lets him win;
And she who counts wedding anniversaries that didn’t happen;
And she who left her two-year-old son in the care of her sister in a Philippine village;
And she who wistfully polishes the window of her empty store once visited by the whole neighborhood when it was one;
And she who works at the post office, dreaming of being a settled "sett beyt";
And she who sits at a "soubhieh" and dreams of being a business woman;
And she who is an executive assistant who doesn’t need assistance;
And she who waits for the school bus, her book bag as heavy as her teenage heart;
And she who, surprised, discovers her mother;
And she who, surprised, discovers she has become her mother;
And she who sips sweet lemonade fragrant with orange blossoms by the sea;
And she who takes care of a dissatisfied old woman;
And she who is at the mercy of an allegedly satisfied old maid;
And she who jogs mercilessly impervious to the sumptuous Mediterranean;
And she who delves into the palm of her hand to look for her errant destiny;
And she who is surprised that her lover of twenty years ago can still hurt her;
And she who applies a mask to her face to erase the wrinkles of her soul;
And she who burns the omelette remembering the dream she had the night before;
And she who reads the newspaper listlessly, her cup of morning coffee draining upside down on a saucer;
And she who looks in the mirror and is surprised that she is content in her marriage;
And she who waters the riotous jasmine blooms in winter on her sun-soaked balcony;
And I who have known them all
And I who have been them.

January 2010

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Read it in Arabic as translated by Aida Y.Haddad

   

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