Requiem for Mohammad Al-Dura Mahmoud Dawish translated by Tania Tamari Nasir and Christopher Millis (LRB 30 November 2000) Nestled in his father's arms, a bird afraid of the hell above him, Mohammad prays: Father, protect me from flying. My wing is weak against the wind, and the light is black. Mohammad wants to go home, without a bicycle, without a new shirt. He wants his school desk and his book of grammar. Take me home, father, so I can finish my homework and complete my years slowly, slowly on the seashore and under the palms. Nothing further. Nothing beyond. Mohammad faces an army, without a stone, without the shrapnel of stars. He did not see the wall where he could write: "My freedom willl not die." He has, as yet, no freedom, no horizon for a single Picasso dove. He is still being born. He is still being born into the curse of his name. How often should a boy be born without a childhood or a country? And where will he dream, when the dream comes to him. Mohammad sees his death approach and remembers a moment from TV when a tiger stalking a nursing fawn shied away upon smelling the milk, as if milk tames a beast of prey. And so I am going to be saved, says the boy, and he weeps. My life is there, hidden in my mother's closet. I will be saved . . . I can see it. Mohammad, hunters are gunning down angels, and the only witness is a camera's eye watching a boy become one with his shadow. His face like the sunrise, clear. And the dew on his trousers, clear. His hunter could have thought: I'll leave him until he can spell "Palestine," I'll pawn him tomorrow, kill him when he rebels. Mohammad, small Christ, where you sleep and dream is itself an icon made of olive branches and brass and a people wh are rising up. Mohammad, blood superfluous to prohets and prophecies, so to the right side of heaven ascend, O Mohammad.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : 12/06/00 EST