Mahmoud Darwish

13 March 1941 – 9 August 2008 / Palestinian

On A Day Like This

On a day like this, in a hidden corner
of a church, in full feminine magnificence,
in a leap year, when eternal green
meets navy blue in morning,
when form meets content and the sensuous
meets the mystic,
beneath a teeming arbor
where the shadow of a sparrow wearies
the image of meaning - in this emotional place
I'll encounter my end and my beginning
and say: To hell with you both. Have your way
if you must - take me and move on,
leaving the heart of truth fresh
for the hungry daughters of the jackal.
I say: I am not a citizen
or a refugee.
And I want one thing, nothing more,
one thing: a simple, quiet death
on a day like this, in the hidden heart
of the lily,
maybe compensation for a lot or for little,
for a life measured in moments and departures.
I want a death in this garden.
No more…no less.
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