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from the November 2006 issue

A Lady Who Does Not Resemble Me

A lady who does not resemble me
emerges now from her dream, still warm
She opens the window to the friendly morning
and tempts its birds
to perch on her brocaded shawl.
She then finds time to preen herself in front of the mirrors
and is discomfited by a wrinkle of age
incising a line across her cheeks
and by a certain instability in the price of gold
And I am here
in a land of wind
with many problems
waiting for his funeral and for fatigue.

A lady who does not resemble me
takes off the robe of the past
hangs it on the edge of her bed
and takes the first airplane
to the New Year celebrations.
Her memories are as light
as a summer scarf
in a bitter wind
No concern of any kind
troubles her
except listening every day
to the horoscope bulletin
and thinking of what suitable gifts to take
to her lifetime friends.
She likes flowers and buys some
twice every day
The thing that puzzles her most
is the variety of colors
of the fence wires
And the thing that makes her sleepless most
is the postponement of an expected celebration.
And I am here
in a land of worry
and in a corner
spreading out my memory on my shoulders
hoping that night might see it and get tired
then go away
behind passing clouds.

For Hala Shurouf's "My City's Ceiling Is Too Tight," please click here.

Read more from the November 2006 issue
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