To whom does the homeland belong?
the mercenary killer or the jailer?
o' my lady
or does it belong to
the rain man?
Nazik, Sayyab, and Jawahiri?*
or to the man who steals
bread, the medicine, our homeland?
(*) Reference to Three leading Iraqi poets: Badr Shakir
al-Sayyab (1926-1964), Muhammad Mahdi al- Jawahiri
(1900-1997) and Nazik al- Mala’ikah (1923-2007)
This Poem appeared in Al Jadid Vol. 5 no. 28, 1999
Translated from the Arabic by Salih J. Altoma