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Thursday, January 05, 2017


by Judith Terzi

after "Where Aleppo's Escapees Converge"
by Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, 12/19/16

The shelter's in Jibreen. This is no home away from home.
Refugees stream into a factory. Both sides fled their home.

The fleeing & returning cross paths here. Who is who?
Some returning to Aleppo to find the ashes of a home.

Others just escaped Aleppo, a city thousands of years old.
Gunmen set fire to the buses carrying them from home.

Armies shelled a hospital, then a makeshift clinic appeared.
Fathers killed fathers. What to tell the children of home?

Chopped lettuce heaped on a table & vats of donated oil.
30,000 falafel sandwiches. Doesn't charity begin at home?

A teacher writes on a blackboard. Fewer children now.
Some only trace the letters, can't read the syllables of home.

Sweet tea soothes a family huddling to ward off the cold.
Truces broken, re-broken in the broken city called home.

Judith Terzi's poetry has appeared in journals such as Atlanta Review (International Publication Prize, 2015), Caesura, Columbia Journal, Raintown Review, Spillway, and in anthologies such as Malala: Poems for Malala Yousafzai (FutureCycle), Myrrh, Mothwing, Smoke: Erotic Poems (Tupelo), and Wide Awake: The Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond (Pacific Coast Poetry Series). If You Spot Your Brother Floating By was released in 2015 by Kattywompus Press and a new chapbook Casbah is forthcoming in 2017. Her poetry has been nominated for Best of the Net and Web.