Magazine article World Literature Today

Three Poems

Magazine article World Literature Today

Three Poems

Article excerpt

Answer

After Halabja· suffocated,

I wrote a long complaint to God

Before everyone,

I read it to a tree.

The tree cried.

From one side, a bird, a postman,

Said, "All right, who will deliver it?

If you are expecting me to take it,

I won't reach Gods throne.

Late that night,

My angelic poem, dressed for mourning,

Said, "Don't worry.

I will take it to the heights

Of the atmosphere.

But I won't promise

He will take the letter Himself.

You know, the Great God

Who can see Him?

I said, "Thank you. Fly."

My angelic inspiration flew

With my complaint.

The next day, it was returned.

God's fourth secretary down,

A man by the name of Obaid,

At the bottom

Of the very same complaint,

Wrote to me in Arabic:

"Idiot, make it Arabic.

People here don't know Kurdish.

They won't take it to God"

* Translator's note: On March 16, 1988, as part of Anfal, Saddam Hussein's military campaign against the Kurds of Iraq, Halabja withstood a chemicalweapons attack. …

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