blood stitched time by Suheir Hammad

our kafiyes out of fashion

the stories stitched into them

unraveling round our necks


and now

we’ve achieved nobel

world peace a nobel and worthy cause

we’ve thank youd thank youd thank youd

those who’ve denied our humanity eternally

and warmed our bitten hands with

those of our murderers


an eye for an eye

and when our eyes

long since bombed out

are swallowed as olive pits

the whole world is blind

we screamed our

throats shredded to pieces of meat

thrown to hungry wolves in violent heat


i am the mother

no longer willing to sacrifice sons

to wars of men and

gods of war      i

mother refuse to lose

more daugthers to sons gone crazy

watching kids get bombed and blown

into bits of brain and bone


i am the father

lost his daughters to refugee insanity

the daughter of landless orphans

child of impotent dreams


and now

kissers of earth   lovers of night

people of god   victims of survival

we understand

stand under the strain of false peace jammed up hopes

we speak with dried olive branches

caught in chests


we call back to the phalesteen

of folk songs and village dances

the phalesteen of martyrs and their mothers

the phalesteen bulldozed over in beirut

whose mouth was jammed silent

with food stamps in brooklyn


now that we’ve visited the white house

where is the living room jordan spoke of

who holds the key to our house

who lives in our house



i am the daughter

coughing up the olive branch

the son rebuilding a nation

the father rebuilding himself

i am the mother

stitching our stories into kafiyes

stitched into ourland

of tears and blood

with years and love


i stitch the story


into a kafiye

never to unravel



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Filed under Gaza, nonviolent resistance, People

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