Treasure Island

Mahmoud Darwish

((13 March 1941 – 9 August 2008 / Palestinian)

A Man and A Fawn Play Together In A Garden…


A man and a fawn play together in a garden…
I say to my friend: 'Where did this little one
come from? ' He says: 'From Heaven - perhaps he's
the prophet John come back to me in my loneliness.
I've been blessed with his company. He has no mother
to nurture him so I became his mother, I give him
goat's milk mixed with a spoonful of scented honey
and carry him like a lover's cloud through an oak forest.'
I said to my friend: 'Has he become familiar with
this house of yours, filled with voices and utensils? '
My friend said: 'He even lies in my bed when he's ill.
I become sickly when he does. I hallucinate:
O orphaned child, I'm your father and mother,
get up and teach me tranquility.' I waited one month
before visiting my friend's rural home. And his words
came with tears, strong Solomon wept for the first time,
telling me in a quivering voice:
'This son of the father deer and the mother deer
died in my arms. He couldn't adjust to a domestic life.
But his death isn't like yours or mine.' I said nothing
to my desolate friend. He didn't bid me goodbye
with a recitation of verse, as usual. He walked to the tomb
of the white deer. He gathered sand in his hands
and cried: 'Rise up, my son, so your father can sleep
in your bed - only there can I know tranquility.'
He is asleep in the fawn's grave and I have
a small past in this place…
A man and a fawn lie together in a garden…

Submitted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Edited: Tuesday, April 15, 2014

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