Is not that you’ve been denied and abandoned
By your homeland,
That the exile has no childhood,
That you’re unable to forget your motherland
No matter how much she denies or forgets you.
Is that you’re two un-meeting halves;
You are neither here nor there
Is an un-healing wound in the spirit
That turns greenish with time.
Exile is a fracture in the meaning of homeland.
When I call
The echo bounces back at me.
My own country:
The grief that waters my longing
And grows within.
By Tunisian Poet Ahmad Omar Zaabar
Translation by Myriam Rizkallah