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May 2016
Every time my father is late from the front line
Sickness strikes my mother
and I tour with her the hospitals of Najaf.

I write to him ‘come back to us now,
Make your sergeant read my words: I am about to die’.

He returns my letter, laughing:
‘We are the amusement of the blindman’.

Oh, you River of Jasim, you tore my years
Between my father’s assumed victories
And my mother’s wishes in the emergency room;

They used to plant hope in her mind
By sticking on the glass door,
Two notices confirming: (awaiting death certificate).

Her heart ages so fast
And I ***** from hearing the chants.
Every time the presenter says ‘Victory is on the horizon’,

My grandmothers’ eyes rise to the ceiling -
She hides a mocking smile.

With rage I scream at the screen ‘no victory’s coming’.

She whispers: ‘god is generous’.
‘You sound like my father when I asked for new toys’.
She quietens and we contend,
Awaiting his return before a new battle,
Fearing that a last fight may end the life of a dove.
Translated by Dikra Ridha

Najaf: an Iraqi city, where the poet was born and lived most of her life.
The River Jasim: is a river situated between Iraq and Iran, the location of many battles during the Iraq/Iran war.
Faleeha Hassan
Written by
Faleeha Hassan
930
       ---, Gary L and Sethnicity
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