I remember

I remember sweet memories

Eating meals with me,
Waiting for me to finish
Me, in no hurry.
You, ever so patient
You asked a five year old permission
To leave early for your next appointment

Third grade
You waited for me at the bottom of the hill
Classic pose
My excitement was uncontained
As I ran to you

Fifth grade
Puzzles and prizes
Random homework checks

Sixth grade
Camping out in the living room
Screenings of the world cup
Passionate cheers in the middle of the night

Eighth grade
Night school
You, in your puffy jacket
Sporting a cane
I loved that you came for me
And back home
Arms linked,
We went walking

Fruits, I remember fruits
Enough to feed the entire neighborhood
Consumed voraciously
Never scolding never chiding
Finding 1001 things to do with fruit
But most of all
Just simply feasting
I blame my fruitaholic ness on you

New clothes
Cookies and candies
Filling up closets
In anticipation of Eid

Kelamfarekh & kerkasa
Gobez we nus
Anbessa ye anbessa lej

Two fingers in the air
You always knew
Ultimately it was you and the Almighty

Eighth grade
Restless nights
Empty houses
Graduation sans toi

I remember….
Sweet memories
Unspoken words
Unanswered questions

Fast forward 15 years
Today, I felt a breeze
Thought it might be you
Telling me, after all this time
You were still here
Witnessing precious moments
Graduations, wedding, birth of two grandkids
Praying for more blessings our way
We send them back

The umbilical cord is not broken.


How do I honor a man amidst the men?
How do I do justice to the extraordinarily beautiful person you were?
How do I pay tribute to he who loved us as soon as we came into existence – for no other reason than that we were?

13 years have passed but you remain forever alive in every moment
In our very beings
In memories replayed
In thoughts recalled
In prayers recited
In teachings reenacted
In values respected
In principles upheld

You were more than any girl could ask for, and the best she got.

‘I miss you, like the desert misses the rain.’
But I rest assured that InshALLAH you are resting in paradise.

The Lion’s Daughter

I used to treasure hunt

By Semiha Abdulmelik

I used to treasure hunt
Your Eyes
Dive like a pearl hunter into the deep dark waters,
fearless of dangers except of what I might
I grasped and toyed with
Unspoken words, memories, secrets displayed on a glassy canvas/screen
Haboob of feelings and emotions whose shapes I struggled to make out
Cascading brilliance of lights set off by my movement and sound
Bewildering and enticing kaleidoscope of thoughts racing towards infinity
Mysterious winds had shifted the sands
Mad currents ripped the pearls from my hands
And I, now lost and empty handed,
Searched and found

Man of my Dreams

The most handsome man in the world.

Man of my dreams
You are
The man of my dreams
The man in my dreams
The man of whom dreams are made of

You’ve taken up a permanent mark in my heart
In my thoughts & in my prayers

I fill your void with memories replayed
Over and over and over
Here the broken record is a keeper

You had a light of your own
So the darkest of rooms was never dark
With you in it

For you-
I want to write the sweetest of poems
With just enough sun to keep you warm
Enough breeze to keep you cool

For you-
I would filter all the beauty of the world
Strain it of all impurities
Mix in heaps of love
Blend in joy
Add pinches of laughter for good measure

If the sky is without emotion
For you-I want it to shed its tears on the barren lands
If it is blue
For you-I want it to blush bashfully
If it is devoid of humor
For you-I want it to rumble with laughter
If pitch darkness usurps
For you-I want dawn to break

If the scorching heat is unbearable
For you-I want a change in seasons

If you feel unacknowledged or unappreciated
For you-I want lightning to strike & thunder to applaud you

To the one who gave me all
I want it all

Dearest Dadddy-
You are the man of my dreams
The man in my dreams
The man of whom dreams are made of –

Rest in paradise dearest daddy.

©Nebila Abdulmelik, May 2011

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