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You Are Lucky My Son

by Daniah Lababidi
You are lucky my son
for not being here today,
witnessing these atrocious acts
of human vulgarities
towards your fellow man.

Times held beauty here- in Beirut-
filled with romance, roses and Parisian perfumes.
Pleasurable hours; dancing, singing and smoking Cuban cigars.
Times overflowing with laughter and a sense of belonging
to land, family and friends.

I remember shared walks down the Mono,
and my Italian friend inhaling the purity of this place--
the essence of Jasmine intermingled with fresh summer air.

I remember sitting in restaurants,
music playing, glasses meeting
and the taste of exquisite food
while listening to the melodious unification
of worldwide accents.

Oh yes, my son,
how I remember the nightly drives
through silent districts heading toward
The Lady Of Lebanon
with your mom by my side
licking shawarma grease off our fingers.
We'd delight at the sight of clashing waves
against the million year old rocks of Jounyeh,
then pass by the ornamented Sidon Mosque.

How can I forget
the old houses in Tyre,
and its narrow streets.
The hopeful faces of humble people
finding joy in what little they have,

These days, once recent, are now gone my son.
A simple fortnight made our country bleed my son.

Today restaurants are deserted,
glasses shattered.
The lone music of high pitched wailing
bouncing off abandoned shapeless streets.
Today the food is poisoned, bread stale,
and fruits decayed.

And the waves, my son,
their white foam is turned to lava,
clashing onto beds of corpses, fire, and rubble.
Jasmine scent drenched by fear's essence
and the acrid odor of blood.
The songs; croaking lamentations
formed over mass gravesites.

your Italian mom has fled my arms
while Tyre embraces death.
Boxes once filled with delicacies
now home shredded corpses.
Wine glasses overflowing with tears.

Today, I feel something akin to relief,
my son.
You shall not witness destruction,
nor these crimes against humanity.
You shall not taste
the bitterness of unjustifiable retaliation,
nor know the true meaning of misery.

Today, my son,
I salute you for not being born.

Selection 4 of

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Copyright © 2007 by Daniah Lababidi. All rights reserved.