Mahmoud Darwish

13 March 1941 – 9 August 2008 / Palestinian

If You Find Yourself Alone

If you find yourself alone, tell yourself:
Exile has altered its features…
Wasn't Abu Tammam afflicted before you
when he met himself:
'You are not you and
home is not home…'
Things carry your patriotic feelings for you:
A wild flower grows in your deserted corner,
a sparrow pecks the letter 'H'
of your name into the broken bark
of a fig tree
and a bee stings your outstretched hand
as you reach for the goose down
on the other side of that fence.
And as for you:
The mirror has let you down,
you…and not you, say:
'Where have I left my face? '
You search beyond everyday things
for your feelings,
a happiness that cries and
a disappointment that chuckles…
Have you found yourself now?
Tell yourself: I found myself alone,
missing two moons,
but home is home.
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