First Anniversary

by “N, ” the Baghdad schoolteacher in NYC, 121 Contact

July 8th, 2008

­Away from Iraq for the first time.
Away from my room,
its corners that I adore
where I left my small dreams on my pillow.
Where I left my sleep and my peace on my bed…maybe forever.

I don’t know why I feel that I am the first person
who decided to take this step.
The first person away from country
in this world.
The first person who left her fingers planted for ever in the soil of Iraq.

Oh, Iraq, your burden is heavy.
I can’t hold it any more.
But I love you because in you happiness can be found,
even though it’s rare,
and true friendship.

Oh, Iraq, for you this everlasting bleeding of sadness.
The country of real women, real men,
childhood, and passion.
I can’t feel the joy despite smiling.
I can’t taste my love for beauty…
Only in you.

What kind of madness when I decided to leave you
How and why?
Is it true that I am away from Iraq?
Is this a dream? Even if it is,
when while I wake up?
Is it real that I am in another land?
Not Iraq?

Oh, Iraq, you are the pain that never ceases.
Is it true I am wearing another gown?
Not Iraq?
And my heart will beat away from Baghdad?

Oh, God,
When will I wake up.
I want Baghdad.
I want Iraq again.


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