A Poem by Ahmad Yamani, Egyptian poet.

Translated by Robin Moger.

Michael Donovan Photography
312.502.3409

My sister screamed in the night

Take me to my brother’s house

And there she screamed that same night

No no! Take me back to the house of my father

They took her back

And when she made to scream again

The night had passed

And the men had gone to work.

.

My sister screamed in the night

Take me to my father’s house

They took her

And there she screamed

No no! Take me back to the house of my husband

They took her back

And when she made to scream again

The night had passed

And the men had gone to work.

.

My sister

Has not screamed for years

She only walks the street

Casts a glance at every house she meets

And dreams that she is screaming in the night

And they are taking her and taking her back

Along a road with no beginning and no end.

.

Down the road she walked

She came upon a body cast aside

In its breast a hole from which blood ran

Swiftly

She made a paste of spit and dust

And sealed the hole

The body breathed

And rose on bone feet

Kissed her and returned to its place.

.

My sister

Screamed in the night

Take me to the road. She screamed

And the night was passing

And the men were going to work.

***

الصرخة
أختي صرخت في الليل:
خذوني إلى بيت أخي
وهناك صرخت في الليل نفسه:
لا لا أعيدوني إلى بيت أبي
أعادوها
وعندما همّت بالصراخ ثانية
كان الليل قد مضى
والرجال ذهبوا إلى  العمل.
أختي صرخت في الليل:
خذوني إلى بيت أبي
أخذوها
وهناك صرخت
لا لا أعيدوني إلى بيت زوجي
أعادوها
وعندما همّت بالصراخ ثانية
كان الليل قد مضى
والرجال ذهبوا إلى العمل.
.
أختي
لم تعد تصرخ منذ أعوام
فقط تسير في الشارع
تلقي نظرة على كل بيت يقابلها
وتحلم أنها تصرخ في الليل
وأنهم يأخذونها و يعيدونها
في طريق لاأوّل له و لا آخر.
.
في الطريق مشت
التقت جثة ملقاة على الجانب
بثقب في الصدر تسيل منه الدماء
سريعاً
صنعت عجينة من لعاب و تراب
وسدّت الثقب
تنفست الجثة
وقامت على قدمَى هيكل عظميّ
قبّلتها وعادت إلى مكانها.
.
أختي
 صرخت في الليل:
خذوني إلى الطريق
صرخت والليل كان يمضي
والرجال يذهبون إلى العمل.

 

Ahmad Yamani was born in Cairo in 1970. He has published four books of poetry and has been living in Spain since 2001.

He earned his BA in Arabic literature from Cairo University in 1992, and is now working on a PhD dissertation at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

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