A Poem for Falasteen by Hadiya

I heard that it was generations through
the family that taught us how to hold
our fist to the sky
and to hear the wind attempt to
howl through our fingers.
Baba told me that his baba
taught him that this fist that
we hold high is Falasteen
and every bit of air that seeps
through those lines that seperate
each finger
is a bit of waves crashing into
the shores of Haifa calling
its lost children to it.
he traces my fingers like his
father did and i feel the rugged
tips that seem to yearn for the waters
of his city, wishing that it would
seep through my fingers
and into his.
he said he wanted to bathe himself one last time
before he returns to the sky,
scrub the salt water onto his chest so hard
it’ll leave a scar right next to where he
carved my name.
Baba then cups my face,
like generations before have cupped
their childrens and whispered to me
lost villages lest i forget their names
deir yassin
kafr lam
el jamma
and on
and on
and on
he leans his head on my little forhead
and holds in his breath for fear that
his haunting memories seep into me
and i’ll lay restless for endless nights
like he did.
but i see my Baba as he goes to the
balcony with his cup of tea
He jokes sometimes and says that
his tea was the only thing they were able
to take with them before they fled to wherever.
its usually after the joke does the
dark silence reveal that wherever they
will go
it will never be home.
yet, he sips his tea as he
through shut eyelids,
what the setting sun once looked like
on Haifa’s waters.