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Sahar al-Beitounia


She lives in Beitounia
And her name is Sahar
Her name is the hour
Between sunrise and morning.

Her bougainvillea
Overlooks Beitounia
Where a mango-bright bedspread
Hangs over the railing
Lit by first light
That reflects from a wall.

Not the wall of a house
Or her family's orchard.
She can see the graffiti
Ich bin ein Berliner

Marwân had orchards
Al-zaytûn wa-l-'inab
Olive trees, grapevines,
Where they went out to work
Between sunrise and morning.

She is bint Marwân
(and also bint Su'âd).
She is ukht Târiq,
Ukht Mahmûd, ukht Asmâ
.

When jeeps and bulldozers
Converged on Beitounia
A hundred and twenty
All walked out at midday
Were chased back with tear gas
And rubberized bullets.

Seventeen thousand dunnams
Of orchards and wheatfields
With a wall thrust between them
And the doors of Beitounia.

Her name is Sahar
At dawn in Beitounia
Where the first light reflects
On the wall of a prison.

Ismuhâ Sahar
Bayn al-fajr wa-l-subh

—her name is Sahar
between sunrise and morning.


Marilyn Hacker

Prairie Schooner

Spring 2012


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