When There is No Home To Return To

When There is No Home To Return To

When there is no home to return to.

When there is no safety known.

When there isn’t
an inch of this world
that you can call home.

When you miss a place you’ve never visited.
Missing a home you’ve never had.
Missing the lost and burned pages
of your ancestor’s untold stories.

When you taste the pomegranate trees
-Splitting their sensuous fruit,
like blood drops on your thirsty teeth-
only in your dreams.

When you don’t know the name of your grandmother
because your mother’s mouth is too full of diasporic pain.

When the olive trees still call your name.

When you are the daughter of fathers
who lost their youth on the burnt mountains,
souls scared with the ashes of gun powder,
and mothers who lost their innocence
in search of their son’s bones.

The children born in shabby tents,
temporarily constructed, rickety homes,
rent paid in charity, fed on pity,
hastily dismantled half-lives,
the music of bombs ringing in our ears.  

Exile and diaspora foreshadow
the life of a half dead, half person,
who bleeds restlessness.

When you still hear the call of the wind
in the fig groves blooming in the scorching summers.

When Inter-generational trauma
is as familiar as the stories
of war and torture
on your father’s tongue.

When only the mountains wait stoically for you to return
(because all the relatives have been killed or exiled).

When your people are those
who aren’t afraid of the oceans,
anxiously clutching their newborns,
wrapped in fear and desperation,
on precariously wobbly boats
-of whom the only who have found
peace and safety
are those resting
at the bottom
of the dark, emotionless sea.

When there is no home to return to,
no safety known,
and not an inch of this world
that you can call your own.

Hawzhin Azeez

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