I Belong There

Mahmoud Darwish
Translated by Carolyn Forché and Munir Akash

I belong there. I have many memories. I was born as everyone is born.
I have a mother, a house with many windows, brothers, friends, and a prison cell
with a chilly window! I have a wave snatched by seagulls, a panorama of my own.
I have a saturated meadow. In the deep horizon of my word, I have a moon,
a bird's sustenance, and an immortal olive tree.
I have lived on the land long before swords turned man into prey.
I belong there. When heaven mourns for her mother, I return heaven to
her mother.
And I cry so that a returning cloud might carry my tears.
To break the rules, I have learned all the words needed for a trial by blood.
I have learned and dismantled all the words in order to draw from them a
single word: Home.


Source. About the poet. RE: Illustration: Palestinian girls walk past a mural picturing the plight of Palestinian refugees, in the West Bank city of Jenin. As Israel celebrates its 60th anniversary, Palestinians commemorate the Nakba, the expulsion of some 700,000 people during the 1948 war.


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