No more mourning for the present absentees
For twenty-four years I have been nurturing a volume for Salma,
a volume for myself, and a final one for my body.
Rising, falling, getting out of bed
Telling myself that Salma is still
As beautiful as ever, in my memory and in the passwords I use to access my diary.
Between Salma and the years of my life
A child I have called Yara,
So lovely, an absentee joy in her eyes.
She is living close to her room. Houses
Are not seduced by dazzling windows.
Only the view of Haifa comes back to occupy her anew every day.
She thanks God that she can still see it, if from far away
Not concerned with distances any more
Not interested in the pink ribbon on the wrapped presents.
The colors jostled on the clothes line,
and she was glad she had taken down the black.
No more mourning for the absentees who are present
The mourning is all for those present who are absentees
Who have planted love in our hearts and an oak tree in our veins.