by Fadwa Tuqan the "Poet of Palestine"
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch
Tonight, we're together,
but tomorrow you'll be hidden from me again,
thanks to life's cruelty.
The seas will separate us...
Oh! Oh! If only I could see you!
But I'll never know
where your steps led you,
which routes you took,
or to what unknown destinations
your feet were compelled.
You will depart and the thief of hearts,
the denier of beauty,
will rob us of all that's dear to us,
will steal this happiness from us,
leaving our hands empty.
Tomorrow at sunrise you'll vanish like a phantom,
dissipating into a delicate mist
dissolving quickly in the summer sun.
Your scent! Your scent contains the essence of life,
filling my heart
as the earth absorbs the lifegiving rain.
I will miss you like the fragrance of trees
when you leave tomorrow,
and nothing remains.
Just as everything beautiful and all that's dear to us
is lost! Lost, and nothing remains.
Fadwa Tuqan (1917-2003), the Grande Dame of Palestinian letters, is also known as "The Poet of Palestine." She is generally considered to be one of the very best contemporary Arab poets. Keywords/Tags: Fadwa Tuqan, Palestine, Palestinian, Arabic, translation, nothing, remains, parting, separation, loss