Waiting For The Sword

To those who refuse to beg for the mercy of the sword, and still wait, despite the sight of soldiers, for the scream of the newborn, full of hope — Wael

Al-Hasan al-A’sam was a Qarmatian military commander

A boutonnière in the lapel
What are ye birthing now?
A child or a crime?!
Or are ye wailing at the gates of ancient Jerusalem?

The cavalry returned from the east
Came back Al-Hasan al-A’sam and the death raid
In his purple garments,
    with a face of a thief,
    and the mercenary-sword 

Watch his statue in Main Square
Swaying with the winds

Watch, from the crack of the window
    severed-hands of youngmen
    raised on swords’ points 
    leaving their pregnant wives on the back of the horse

Watch the line of blood creeping on the ground

Here he passed. Here
Damaged, under the feet of soldiers
    springs of water
Laid down, on the soil,
    the stems of crops
And then we, the hungry of earth, lining up
For he shall bestow the covenant of safety
Engraving the roads, with the name of the victorious king
Preaching Friday sermon, by the power of the victorious king 
Ascending on the pulpit, with the same sword that cleaves the guts of pregnant women

Ye are birthing now,
    who crawls and no hands would support him,
    who walks and cannot raise his eyne to people,
    who is abducted into slavery

He may become a slave for the palace’s pedophiles
Throwing him in the war field,
    for victory

That is the fate of the defeated
No land and no money
Or home to close a door
Without a collector knocking,
    or a soldier who saw the beautiful wife from the other house

Watch thy great first nation
Became remains of corpses of the casualties,
    beggars for the mercy of the sword
    and the money the invader scatters;
Til crumbles whatever remains of men
    and heritage

Startle ye not of the dose of shame
Til ye vomit, what remains in thy guts,
    of motherhood’s warmth

Soars the market for a couple of days, 
    then acclimates to the new currency
Aches the rib for a couple of days,
    then acclimates to the new whip
Mutes the radio for a couple of days,
    then acclimates to the new voice

And waiting am I,
    next to thy bed
Sitting … watching – in thy shaking fever – 
The scream of the newborn
    opening his eyne to the sight of soldiers

Wael AbdAlmageed

Pittsburgh, December 21, 2021

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