Poetry about my beloved grandmother, Tateh.

Tateh and CeDe ( my grandfather) circa 1937

Our Storyteller

Upon the landscape of your face

tumbling from the folds of your laughing brow

and between the creases of your weathered jowl

I see the history of Palestine.

I see children playing under olive trees, and goats

grazing on grass. Your eyes sparkle and sing, as though

you were still a child running through the dusty

rock strewn roads of Ramallah.

You are laughing with your little sister, escaping

from the neighborhood boys you were teasing; taunting.

Perhaps one of them a young Hanna Shihadeh, our grandfather;

at least these are the stories you told us.

I delighted, relished every word you spoke

of your life. I saw magic in your eyes

when you enchanted our hearts

with your stories of Palestine.

You – solid, sturdy and present.

You – soft, strong and pliant.

You – heart, song and pleasant.

 You – Tateh, our beloved link to our history, our culture, our people.

 

You were our land, our fig tree, our grapevine, our seed.

You were our small patch of fertile earth. You fed our souls

and minds with the world, with “otherworldliness”.

You fed our spirits with story, with beauty, and with freedom.

Your solid girth seemed rooted

deep in humanity, reminding us of

the vastness of love, when we became lost;

disconnected from it.

Storyteller of our bloodlines,

of our rich hearts

and our sad people,

tell me another story.

Give me a bone,

an olive branch, or perhaps

one of your two – eyed winks

to remind my soul you were real.

And that I am part of history; of an ancient great Palestine

that seems so distant, so foreign from me now.

Tell me again how you came to be locked in the landscape

of memory, of story, of history. Tell me again.

Niemeh Grace Shihadeh

Yum Food!! Yum Art!!

 

 

© [Jeanette Shihadeh] and [thepainterspalate.wordpress.com], [2012]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, artwork, or photo’s without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Jeanette Shihadeh] and [thepainterspalate.wordpress.com] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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