Two Doves by Faleeha Hassan

I am not a silent poet

Every time my father is late from the front line

Sickness strikes my mother

and I tour with her the hospitals of Najaf.

I write to him ‘comeback to us now,

Make your sergeant read my words:I am about to die’.

He returns my letter, laughing:

‘We are the amusement of the blindman’.

Oh, you River of Jasim, you tore my years

Between my father’s assumed victories

And my mother’s wishes in the emergency room;

They used to plant hope in her mind

By sticking on the glass door,

Two notices confirming: (awaiting death certificate).

Her heart ages so fast

And I vomit from hearing the chants.

Every time the presenter says ‘Victory is on the horizon’,

My grandmothers’ eyes rise to the ceiling –

She hides a mocking smile.

With rage I scream at the screen ‘no victory’s coming’.

She whispers:…

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