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Monday, March 30, 2020


by Zeina Azzam 

What I want to say to the tulips
that emerged, again, in March:
I am so grateful to count on you.

There is nothing else to gird me
anymore. This beauty almost
makes me weep.

Do you see how different
the world is now?

And they tell me: no,
as we know it, the world is still the same.
The rains arrived this morning.

The nightingale keeps working so hard
to sing. The starling wails.

If sickness comes
I want to be like the wise tulips,
store energy in my heart bulb

and come back after a hard winter,
dressed in bright turbans
of orange and yellow and red.

Zeina Azzam is a Palestinian American poet, editor, and community activist. She volunteers for organizations that promote Palestinian rights and the civil rights of vulnerable communities in Alexandria, Virginia, where she lives. Her poems appear in Pleiades, Mizna, Sukoon Magazine, Split This Rock, the edited volumes Making Mirrors: Writing/Righting by Refugees and Bettering American Poetry, and several other literary journals and anthologies. She holds an M.A. in Arabic literature.