Turath Tuesday: "Remedies from the homeland"
Turath Tuesdays is a new series on The Giving Blog. Every Tuesday, we will feature an aspect of Syria's turath, the Arabic word for heritage, be it poetry, art, or history... Today, we are featuring a poem by poet Tala Ezeiden.
"Remedies from the Homeland"
my first asthma attack
fresh air, sweet cheese, 7alaweh
mosquito bites at my uncle’s farm
alcohol, rose water.
burns on my thighs
salt vinegar don’t don’t cry
mama mama sing me that lullaby,
the one fairuz sings about the sleepy curly haired girl
at 4am the cream and bread, honey and sugar
and remember that one summer
when you finally danced
loss murder heartbreak
- no nothing,
i can’t find anything in this recipe book
about having to take refuge
in the heart of another land, lover
where is the hand that held you when you cried
the hand that cleaned you throwing rocks all those times
the hand that held you when they all died
hands like the sunflowers
that came out first thing in the springtime
your little toes tried so hard not to step on them -
remember the ladybugs
on the back porch
under the tree swing
little wings red and black
dark grey steps
the big metal door that slammed.
and there you are
little girl in the strawberry shorts
under the vine leaf tree -
no no not yet. you have to wait
don’t let your little fingers pick them off just yet
don’t let your little fingers get grazed on the black stones just yet
you’ve got time before
catch up to your freshly skinned knees
don’t wipe the sugar off your mouth;
i would give anything to taste it again.
About the Author
Tala Ezedien was born in Homs, Syria. She is a 19 year old university student currently in Montreal, Canada. She longs only to see her city once more, while it still exists.