Summer 2009 • Vol. XXXI No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 2009 |

Twice a River

After studying our faces for four months My son knows to beam is the thing to do He'll spend years Deciphering the injustice or the illusion of it Which depends on love Having been brought into this world Volition is an afterthought What will I tell him About land and language and burial Places my father doesn't speak of Perhaps my mother knows In the movie the dispossessed cannot return Even when they're dead The journalist felt Rebuke for not having thought It mattered or for having thought it mattered too much Will I Tell my son all nations arise after mass Murder—that I don't know Any national anthem by heart can't sing Before or after games or between innings? I should turn to flowers and clouds instead Though this has already been said well It is night when he gazes Into his mother's eyes at bath time Qyss and Laila she announces after a long day's work He giggles with his shoulders not knowing He's installing a web

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Fady Joudah was the recipient of the Griffin International Poetry prize in 2013. His latest poetry collections are Alight and Textu, from Copper Canyon Press. Textu is written in meter based on the character count of smart phones. He is a practicing physician of internal medicine.

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By Fady Joudah

After studying our faces for four months My son knows to beam is the thing to do He'll spend years Deciphering the injustice or the illusion of it Which depends […]

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