There is a shadow in her room; it traverses the cracked walls and holed ceiling. At night it hides maybe in the remnants of her closet, maybe under the bed with tattered sheets, maybe it disappears, she does not know where it lurks, perhaps inside her heart.
It dances on her walls, expanding, shrinking, attacking, retreating. All day it dances She lays in her bed in surrender to its advances, Then she stands in defiance, slides into her clothes and walks out. She slams the door behind her, But the shadow bolts under the dresser, over the bed, through the door and straight ahead.
It climbs the walls in the corridors it crawls the broken floors, it swings back and forth from the burnt grapevine pergola. It moans a sad moan in her ears, and hovers heavily over her shoulders.
It clouds her eyes with grey melancholy It burdens her voice and inhibits her smiles. But without it, she is an aimless bee without a hive.
On a hot summer night, the sea crashed into the beach urgently The sky glowed white phosphorus hot, He arrived more beautiful than the moon, more luminous than the sun.
Her heart gave in to the softness of his skin, the tenderness in his cooes They placed him in her arms, a crying, swaddled bundle, and her heart took a tumble
They stitched her insides back together, To her chest she pulled him closer his head she smelled His face she caressed A magnificent feeling to become a mother..
During the years, she learned That her heart will break everytime he fell That his laughter is the edge of heaven That his tears are the gates to hell She learned That she will cry at every first day and last day of school That his voice will salve her soul in the midst of endless explosions She learned that the voice will change quickly from a cry to a roar, but his eyes will sparkle just the same, like the moon glistening in the sea.
It was a fateful morning when he left the house, his eyes iridescent with laughter In between breakfast and teasing banter He kissed her cheeks and asked for her blessings. He was a bright spot in all the darkness, an oil lamp in the endless electricity outages. He was as sweet as bottled water.
On that fateful humid May morning, She found his eyes,first… a light extinguished His smile, second…a rose wilted His hand, third, wrapped around his phone…a signal killed His legs, last, two limp logs splayed to the East and West
She birthed him from the mouth of rubble, head first, shoulders and torso second, hands and phone, third, then two limp broken legs...
She held him to her chest, this time, a silent swaddled bundle In his place sixty seven shadows hover
School Principal, chemist by training, baker and writer by passion. I am interested in food writing, short story telling and memoires. I have published several pieces in This Week in Palestine, Mashallah news and other places here and there. I
am a mother of twins (sometimes I do feel like the mother of dragons rather than twins) and here you will find the unhindered, with my guard down, enjoying the kitchen me, escaping the daily grind into ginger bread houses, layered cakes and everything in between.
This is me baking myself happy and making memories for my children in a country where memory is a national treasure.
Hailing from Ramallah, Palestine, with recipes and stories from all over the world.
PS If you think I have elaborate dinner tables every night, don't worry, I don't. I cook or sometimes I don't as my time and energy permits! (Keeping it real)
View all posts by Riyam Kafri AbuLaban