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UCQ

Creative Writing

Goodbye, Lebanon

Goodbye, Lebanon

Goodbye, Lebanese mountains.

I’m going far
from your pink rose garlands,
your bright red satin strawberries.

Egypt called in a serious voice,
and already my boat’s rocking
bears new fruit—

But sea, whisper your lullabies
please, because I hurt so much.
Soft waves of home, sob for me.

Don’t go away so quickly, my love.
Leaving you, my chest is all wound,
wholly tender.

Lebanon,

you made me. Your moody nights
put the darkness in my eyes
and laid a vein of lightning in my soul.

Your white lace waterfalls wove
jasmine vine and lute serenades
all through me,

and my speech is the Spirit
murmuring in your woods.
My capricious seasons are yours:

my soul is sometimes wild,
an egret flying far
beyond the ocean’s edge,

and sometimes I curl up
like an anemone when touched,
damp with delicate seafoam tears.

Fading from sight, you’re a dream
that ends. But grief goes on.
Goodbye, my nest.

I love you, Lebanon. I adore you.
Lebanon, goodbye.
My heart—

pink roses,
red strawberries

—turns to vapor with the word:
Goodbye.

Goodbye.

- May Ziadeh, tr. Rose DeMaris