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For Lana Sadiq


On her face, all exiles,
all the roads opened to refugees.
Her face is an olive grove in Haifa and an orange orchard in Jaffa
and West Bank fig trees and prickly pears from Galilee.
The dove lives in her eyes with the flash of stones thrown by children.
On her lips, the smile of the first daisy opening on the foothills,
and the first tent pitched for refugees, and the first orange dried out by bullets
and the first anemones budding
on bodies of the first butterflies fallen to earth here, south of us.
In exile, she searches for her children, to gather them.
I didn't say to her: I am like you, a mother too, at the impossible road's beginning.
Like you, I'll pace those paths, back and forth, to find my children.
Perhaps one day we'll return together.
And what have I gained, and what have I lost?
And what have I done, father? My brothers don't love me
And don't want me among them.
What victory there for us, what victory for them?


Fadwa Soleiman

Prairie Schooner

Fall 2017


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