Monday, January 30, 2017

"Miriam is my name and refugee is my profession"


Miriam is my name
and refugee is my profession.
My father is dead,
and my mother too.
My house...what house?
a tent is my home!
I had a home
a pretty one, with a garden
of pink stones,
roses and jasmine.
We lived happily,
in peace and tranquility;
the world was ours
in all of its immensity.
Our plot of ground
my father cultivated lovingly;
in the school, my brother
was the beloved teacher;
my mother, so good
so pure and so holy,
sacrificed her life,
so that we should lack nothing.
Until one day...
the worst of all...!
the demons arrived
sowing terror!
With bombs and cannons,
they blew up our houses,
and with bayonets and machine-guns,
they murdered all the people...!
Like beasts of the night,
they came by surprise;
the sleeping people
were their easy prey.
The savage assassins
killed almost everyone;
and crowned
their villainous heroism
with plunder.
Blood flowed
like sinister streams
and the sky
appeared to be made of fire.
My father and the men
like heroes defended us:
but how? Could they confront
the tanks
with their bare breasts?
My heroine mother
is now in heaven.
She fell as a martyr
defending her home
We, terrified
remained among the corpses...
waiting for death
to save us from "them"!
At dawn we arose
tinged in our blood
and found ourselves crouched
amidst the rubble.
We were taken to the hospital
to cure our wounds...
those of the body...the others, of the soul
never...they are too deep.
From there they took us,
where? misery.

They called us refugees
and exhibited us in the market places
in every country
they deplored the fact we were orphans,
and they made us a city
of caves and tents.

Brothers and sisters of all humanity
from your conscience
we hope for justice.

from the poem "Miriam", Tricontinental Magazine, No. 93 / 3-1984

Miriam was one of the refugee children uprooted and banished from her home in Palestine. She wrote these verses that were published in Tricontinental Magazine in 1984.

They speak powerfully to the universal need across time and nation to defend and support the rights of the refugee. Always. Everywhere. People -- human beings -- displaced and driven from their homes by the horrors of violence. 

The illustrations are from the magazine issue in question and accompanied the poem. 

See also: Deportee

No comments:

Post a Comment