Mohamed Al-Maghout

1934-2006 / Salamiya

The Orphan

Oh! The dream, the dream!
My sturdy gilded wagon
Has broken down
Its wheels have scattered like gypsies everywhere.
One night I dream of spring
And when I woke
Flowers had covered my pillow.
I dreamt once of the sea
And in the morning
My bed was full of shells and fins of fishes
But when I dreamt of freedom
Spears were surrounding my neck
Like the morning halo.
From now on you will not find me
In ports or among trains
But there … in public libraries
Falling asleep over the maps of the world
(As the orphan sleeps on the pavement)
Where my lips touch more than one river
And my tears stream
From continent to continent.

Translated by May Jayyusi and John Heath-Stubbs
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