Prior to the Departure by Iman Chahin Sharba

Translated by Saleh Razzouk and Philip Terman | Poetry, Translations

Before I was killed by a matter of minutes I was combing the hair of my
And braiding her plaits
With a pair of barrettes in the shape of a map.
Before I died in a matter of a few minutes
I was telling my husband
About possible solutions for peace
And assuring my children
That the war is almost nearing an end.

Before I was killed by a matter of hours, I was baking the sweets of
I named it the gathering cake
And decorated it with colors from my country.
Before I was killed in a matter of days here,
I was visiting the grave of my brother
To whisper in his ears the verses of peace and harmony.
I asked myself
Do I expect to live longer? Now here I am dreaming and choking out

Just to wake up from the nightmare of barrettes
In the shape of a map exploding into bits and fragments.