By: Hammama Issa


Every morning after breakfast you always savoured your coffee,

One cup was all you needed to see you through the day,

‘You shouldn’t be out alone,’ I heard,

A dark, murky lake outstretched before me – still and lifeless,

The faint cigarette smell that lingered on your clothes,

Faint boomerang scars littered my pale arms,

Large trees stood hunched over in defiance,

You held my hands through the busy market streets,

As darkness loomed closer and the night grew older,

That throaty laugh and toothless smile,

Numbness stalks up the trail of my spine,

Eighty years young with a twelve-year-old mind,

A faint chuckle echoes throughout yet I know I’m alone,

Al Jazeera in the background ‘Subhan’Allah ála dunya’,

Bitter tears drowning my face,

Homemade lamb tagine and flatbread was your favourite,

I’m close to the end.

‘Let me see your smile,’ you say,

A pungent, ripe vinegar smell surrounds,

Lost in the moment –

Curling up in a nearby space I waited.