Sunday, April 22, 2012


Hardships are
easy to speak of
but hard to digest
often my little
brothers tongue
which is no stranger
to food and water
will speak of it
in arrogance
his well
rested and nourished body
every argument
my father noticed
had replaced
struggle in his home
I can see it
in the way
his hardened thoughts
converts  lessons
in his throat
giving pillow case
for fragile hearts
the illusions of
grandeur my brother
wears breaks him
but he’s
found a way
to gather himself
after each “you don’t understand”
to my father
the possibility
of starvation
rests with him in bed
the wounds of loss
tattooed on the palms
he uses to pray
that we may never
have dialogue
with distress
if ever need be
I simply touch
the scars
on my father that sever
as bookmarks
stories his body
but I may never buy
lessons that
refuse to settle
in my mind
my struggles are
associated with electronics
not survival
I can’t fully digest
sleeping on hope
and waking up
to struggle
my father has made
a habit
out of hardship
hangs portraits
of pain
in his chest
serving him a reminder
that this here
this pain is reality
the thought
never leaves me
that maybe
when he goes silent
stares off in the distance
he imagines
himself back
in back alleys
in tattered clothes
no promise of
of food or water
wondering how on gods
earth he will ever
raise a family
to know struggle
without actually struggling
I bet he never
pictured this
I cry
when I see him
watching the animal network
smiling as if he was actually there
eyes brightening up
softly whispering
“we have elephants in Somalia”
I wonder if he knows
I have elephants in my throat
because when
I thank him
for everything
his eyes brighten up the same way.

Ahmed Knowmadic
Copyright © 2012

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