Poet Explores Effect of a Nation's Sudden Change

Sunday, July 24, 2011

In The Thing about Feathers, Arab-American poet and playwright Nathalie Handal invokes the powerful emotions of those who flee their homelands. An excerpt from her upcoming book "Poet in Andalucia."

(WOMENSENEWS)--We kept only the keys,

letters, and photos--

everything else stayed behind

when we left the house.

That can happen when

a nation changes overnight,

when those you know

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turn into

a gate of feathers--

and the thing about feathers is,

they know what's been missed.

For years I watch

my neighbor's house

from others' windows--

different countries,

various homes,

some of brick, some of stone.

Some never imagine

what a home can mean

when an unfinished tune

traps the ceiling.

I pretend

never to have

seen a body midair,

a father's hands

planted on the ground--

after all

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