ROAD TO AT-TIRI
‘The sun is not to overtake the moon
nor the night to outstrip the day
and each swims in an orbit’ –Qur-an 26;33-58
sentinel monument marking
this splintered place. Village of the old,
counting days and mourning their dead,
the young flung to the corners of the Earth.
Beneath your silence quietly we pass
through battered streets,
guns pointed at the ground,
peppered walls keep your story.
Loud in flags of nations but enfeebled
by ghostly eyes whispering fear from the dying
our patrol follows the paths worn by many,
afraid to disturb their memories.
Our footsteps bear no echo
on this broken road.
Michael J. Whelan
Published recently in the USA as part of a sequence in ‘From the Cradle of Civilization: Contemporary Arabic Poetry”, the fifth edition of Life and Legends’ http://lifeandlegends.com/cradle-civilization/