My Father Whispers


My father lies in the earth of the only land I can call home, and yet I cannot return.

I cannot return to see if he still lies in peace in his final resting place gazing over the Qalamoon mountains.

Now no one can return

– our homes looted and destroyed pointlessly.

Instead of their walls being used as shelter and its furniture to comfort, instead of their gardens providing sustenance, from its abundance of fruit trees, grape vines and olive trees, from its emerging vegetables

– instead it was raped, burnt and abandoned.

The village that holds the memories of childhood, the memories of my father, once the safest place on earth for my cousins and me, now a district of horror, torment and destruction.

Now no one can return.

No one can visit my father.

I am glad of one thing for sure, his loss, NO, our loss, can only be his gain, he did not see, with his tender eyes his land burning, bleeding.

Instead I hope that he sees its future – as bright and fresh and free. This thought keeps me going – I hear him whisper, to keep me sane.

My familiarity of its earth, of its dry and dusty smell, of its sweetness in the night air, does not make it any easier to imagine the chaos that exists for far too many.

I am told not to return, its streets and alleys only serve as graveyards now.

They tell me our reunion can wait, they too appear to have hope

– does my father whisper to them too?

~ by Tamara Al-Om on March 13, 2014.

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