Poem for Helen

By | 13 May 2024

Ouadi Qadisha
Levantine tongues–
the movement in the mouth of our ancestors
and things we will never come to know
in assimilation
our name normalised
(the inside of the mouth)
immigration restriction acts—
but really, in other times our name meant
of the mountain: Al Jabal
our ancestors tongues
bent backwards and buried,
like Juidi
who lay down to rest
in the Dandenongs, illegally
a sugar gum
he never spoke Arabic
until he went senile,
his tongue bent back—
and blue Levantine eyes
makes one forget
Ouadi Qadisha
the movement in the mouth of our ancestors

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