An unfinished tapestry, pushed deep into the unlocked drawer, brought unshed tears to her eyes. After her grandmother’s death, the unowned tapestry was now hers to keep or, perhaps, upkeep.
The granddaughter unjammed the drawer, unwrinkled the unvalued tapestry and tugged at it, slowly, to unravel an unloved memory.
Her grandmother had worn the hijab when she unfortuitously was forced to flee. She was unbearably young, unable to unidentify herself from the only life she had ever known.
She had untangled, untamed dreams. But in her flight, unwontedly flushed with misery, those ungratified desires were undreamt.
It was someone, unremembered, who pushed the cloth and needle into her hands. “Here, stitch and stitch and don’t look up. Unthink what you thought, unclench strings of yesterday.”
Her un-shining needle pricked the un-colorful cloth.
Each day when an unfed child cried, she undecorated the embroidered cake she would never eat.
When the rain unrestrainedly covered the ground, she unstitched the coat she would never wear.
When a mother moaned, she unwrote the poem she would never read and unmeasured the music she would never sing.
When unutterable screams surged through the un-dawned day, she unclimbed the mountain she would never see.
The granddaughter cradled the unfinished tapestry in her arms. Her fingers unexpectedly pulled a thread, undoing one stitch and then another.
Unwinding undreamt; for her grandmother’s true tapestry was sewn with love.
*Undreams ,won an international poetry contest sponsored by Persimmon Tree. Published at http://www.persimmontree.org/v2/summer-2015/international-poets/
See American University in Cairo Facebook page:
See American University in Cairo Press website:
On the night of April 14, 2014, over 200 girls were kidnapped from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, Nigeria, by terrorists.
Boko Haram has abducted 2,000 girls, women since 2014 –Amnesty
“Undreams” is for all those imprisoned in exile, forced from their homes, separated from friends and family, their way of life banished—the Palestinians, the Syrians, the Chibok girls and millions more…
Read Malala Yousafzai’s “My Open Letter to the Abducted Chibok Schoolgirls.”
Sign Petition to commission monument to remember abduction of women and children in Nigeria. This monument is a constant reminder of human failure to protect the innocent. Not a popular concept for a government or nation but a reminder that might stir actions in the hearts of those able to protect.
*Copyright 2015 by Lesley Lababidi. All rights reserved. To copy or re-produce photography and/or writings, written permission from Lesley Lababidi is required.
Whoofta. That hits hard and deep, Les. Thank you.
Lesley, an unbelievably beautiful picture, adorned with such great unhappiness! Thank you for sharing your poem!
My small attempt to address the misery and the survival of people displaced and kidnapped. L.
This is beautifully written and heartfelt, Lesley.
So beautiful and anguished. Thank you for remembering. Thank you for this.