Saturday, April 24, 2010

Somali Weyn

Centuries and centuries rising and falling gracefully on land cultivated by my fathers and fed by my mothers.
Time it took for my features to form so perfectly the lines and curves of my flag; that in its colours lay my face and the faces of my brothers.
And weren't you my brother?
We stood before the blue of that world and the white of our sand and saw the reflection that was both we.
I do not know when and in what dream I ceased to be your sister.
I am not sure why my blood seemed to call your name so that you may spill it for your own peace of mind.
My suffering must have built for you that castle in heaven you wanted.
Tell me, did you receive your heroes’ welcome when you entered the gates of your fiery home?
It was not a neighbour you tortured when our earth was dug and little boys were thrown in alive.
That was your son.
Or did you not see the faces of our ancestors mirroring his?
Did you even stop for that second it would take to care that it was your sisters that you raped in mosques and burnt alive from grief?
Was it not indeed yourself the little boy suckling his mother, wrenched from her and de-limbed to cause her suffering?
For what crime was it that our mother cried those tears of stone?

'Allahuakbar' was your battle-cry but answer me what God you knew when the idea fell into your head fully formed to drive your own from this place?
But was Hargeysa not merely a room in the big house we shared?
Why was it so important that you might demolish that room and all that lay within?
Were they not belonging to you as much to me?
Was I not your sister?
Tell me, was it too small for us all to live?
And who benefited in death for we all died together in the end?
The land, so precious you drank the souls of kin for it, is no longer being cultivated and no longer being fed.
So tell me who benefited?
Now you ask that our great home be reinstated.
Our rooms made to be intact.
I’m sorry but those you knew no longer know you.
We, the family lived for longer than all others on earth did, side-by-side.
Closer than close.
For we were cut from the same dhirac,
Made from the same macawis.
And yet you let our guests divide us and claim we were adopted.
My face was your face.
Tell me, was it then I ceased to be your sister?
Were it then that I deserved your hate?

Nimo Hussein
Copyright © 2010

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