Treasure Island

Buland Al-Haidari

((1926–1996) / Baghdad)

Barrenness


The same road,
The same houses,
Held together by profound exertion,
The same silence.
We used to say:
Tomorrow it will die,
And there will awaken
From every house
Young children's voices,
Bursting forth, with the daylight, onto the road
And they will mock our yesterday,
our grumbling women,
Our dead and lusterless eyes.
They will not know what are memories,
They will not understand the ancient path,
And they will laugh because they do not ask
Why they laugh.
We used to say:
Tomorrow we will understand what we say;
The seasons will bring us together
Here a friend
And there some shy, retiring one.
Yesterday our desires were strong
And maybe we did not mean
What we used to say.
Today the seasons have brought us together
That friend
Without a friend,
That desire
Impudent and unashamed
And on the road,
the same road,
The same houses,
Held together by profound exertion.
The same silence.
And there
Behind closed windows
were the sunken, listless eyes,
Waiting for the children,
And afraid that the daylight
Would pass down the road.

Submitted: Saturday, May 10, 2014
Edited: Saturday, May 10, 2014

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