a hidden poem

they would destroy my poetry in iraq
— she is my pale bird in the sun
quick she has no price
she alone never leaves me
she is older than they and more wise
she is younger and more tender than a green leaf
this history deep in self
her voice next my own in what to them is silence
i have never been there in the wind
and songs of those deserts where
you were my mother my sister my
lover my friend my poetry
so why are you now so close
I learn the word mahaba
means i love

  1. Inanna: the goddess of love, fertility and war, worshipped by the first poet of record, a Sumerian woman, Enheduanna []
John Bart Gerald began writing poetry, fiction and journalism in the 1960s. Currently he lives in Montreal and writes the website nightslantern.ca. Read other articles by J. B..