by Joumana Altallal
Why not, in addition, tell the story of your father huddled, afraid
of being taken from a home
where, your mother says, an entire city must have been
hiding children, grandparents, uncles, the women recite
verses. Om Ahmad offering Surat Yasin, to blind the officers, she says
rocking her body a sleeping infant cradled in her lap, head
against her thigh. Officers abduct men hysterically. Your grandfather’s
car parked in front of the house. Just returned. License plate:
Kuwait. Furniture: unmoved. Anything a reason.
Joumana Altallal is an Iraqi-Lebanese writer and Zell Fellow in Poetry at the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program. She works with Citywide Poets to lead a weekly after-school poetry session for high school students in Metro-Detroit. Her recent work appears, or is forthcoming in, The Rumpus, Glass Poetry, Mud Season Review, and Bayou Magazine. She has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers' Conference, Napa Valley Writer's Conference, and the Radius for Arab American Writers. You can find Joumana on Twitter @joualt.