Peter Davis  © 2005 All Rights Reserved

Morning’s Opal

Here is the light loosening through dawn-colored leaves.
It makes its way past a rootless morning that resembles,

in its sever of bird song and scent of old-wood smoke,
every place and no place we know. You point

at those roots resting beneath the enormous Aleppo pine
and say they are the ancient calligraphy aging on mosque corridors.

You say roots are leaping market places sprawling in a thousand directions,
and those wrinkles emanating endlessly from my forehead.

And what of roots we find in small hands, beneath big feet,
all succumbing to an earth that leans inward and opens to a sky

withdrawn from stars? Here, we yellow when we think of our dead,
and we grow large with rootlessness, although our blossoming is born.

And I wonder: what kind of hunger is it,
our bathing in the mist of all this orange light?

Deema Shehabi
Copyright © 2005


Deema K. Shehabi is a writer, editor, and poet. She grew up in the Arab world and attended college in the US, where she received an MA in journalism. Her poems have appeared in several anthologies and literary journals including the Atlanta Review, The Poetry of Arab Women, Crab Orchard, Valparaiso Review, Flyway, and The Mississippi Review, to name a few. She currently resides in Northern California with her husband and son.

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