†††††††† The Prayer of a Palestinian Mother

††††††††††††† Copyright © 2005 Jordan White


ďCan the earth contain/ the cruelty of a mother making her coffee alone/

On a Diaspora morning?ĒMourid Barghouti, Palestinian poet


Itís morning.

ďIím alive,Ē I tell myself,

As others say, ďI am awake.Ē

My bed is in a strange place, and though outside

This dreary shack the sun is warm,

Inside my heart, itís cold.


Soon Iíll make my coffee, hot and black,

And wait for my kids. Pssht! They will not come.

Theyíre gone, you know, theyíre far away,

Thereís nothing for them here.


I ask you, Allah.Are you here with me

At this camp in a foreign land?

But you donít answer, itís just the wind.

It sighs the sigh of an old, tired soul,

A soul who will never return.


Allah, do you agree with me?My tears fall down.

Should I have my home and my country back?

But no reply.Should I be surprised?

Itís as if the thieves have stolen you, too.


No! I tell myself.That canít be true!

No matter who takes what, thereís always enough of you!

No one can banish you from your place,

You still rule all, both in heaven and earth.


So, answer this question, if you will:

Please, can I return?

I want to see my olive trees,

The old stone house, the stars, the hill.


ďItís always Eid in Palestine

That is what they say.

So then, please, Allah, hear me out.

Could you save some Eid for me?Okay?