Safta

Tiny threads weave memories
That slip through spindly fingers.

The granules make a wise dust
That floats into the wind
And gets whipped around the earth.
The old souls forever alive in howls
Aaawoooo!
And whispers
Psss Psss Psss…
That prey on the ears of children.

We wonder and tumble around
With memories told by the honest wind
And familial voices at bedtime.
Their songs, a hint to distant characters.

For me, one tune pierces best
The celebratory drums of present day.
The songs of my Safta.
How do I make sense
Of her spoken words and heartfelt song?
Dow do I begin to long for a Safta
Whose harsh ambition and unemotional
Perseverance is that of legend?
How do I discover the mother and wife
In a person dead?
How do I resurrect and ask:
Who are you really?
Who are you supposed to be to me?
Oh Safta what am I to do?
But these questions are buried deep in sand.

Instead of asking, the potent memoryful dust
Seeps down into my senses and accumulates at my core,
Until one day I bolt awake to a crumbling reality
With cracks running down back and along wrists –
Breaking me apart from the inside out.

A doctor arrives with needle, thread, and glue
Only to unexpectedly inform me:
“A virus is boring holes into your figure
The fault line will come back
Unless they are surgically extracted.
The procedure leaves scars.”
A shadow passes over my eyes.

As Docs’ hands carefully mend and weave flesh,
Zer mouth reveals the mind’s knowledge:
“I know this tragedy.” Ze says,
“It is done by a lonely beast
Who goes into childhood brains
And plants nano seeds that become a vicious virus,
Eating up dust and displaying holograms.
The virus is a sophisticated blackhole
Making translucent ghosts of
Memories passed down by birthright.”
Doc leaves a bandaged child empty and
In excruciating pain.

At night, dust lands on the sleeping babe
And sings Safta’s song loud and clear –
Finally free to hear the tunes of enviable beauty
And diligent hands that made crispy Tabe’et
On Shaba’at night.

When I wake up I look into the virus made holes
As dust slowly fills their empty space
Until one day, only slivers of knotted white scars remain.

I think of how the virus kept me in a tomb of silence
Where questions my voice longed to shout,
Rebounded off bricks whispering
Politically Incorrect
And mortar singing
Historically Irrelevant.
Disguising loving images in a false inferiority.

The seeds sprouting virus are dying off now
And the few that are left appear weakened
By the loss of surprise attack.

Healing and remembering,
I begin to sing back to and
Search for the magical dust
In an attempt to bring pride
To my own spirit
And embrace the reality
Of legend And dust.

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