Fuad Rifka

(1930 / Syria)


In the beginning were the elements
and there was love,
so they mingled.
They became an olive tree
And God called it Hiroshima.
Beneath it, He rested.

At winter's end
God said to himself:
Spring has come,
I shall head to the fields
for the hoes are warm
and desire shudders beneath the soil.

Ages passed
while God tilled the earth
spreading seeds,
gathering the ripened crops.
Into the jars
he poured wine and oil.

When reaping was done
He saw that all was good.
He said:
Now is the time for rest.
I shall go to the olive tree
for its shade is dark and vast.

On the way
He smelled smoke.
He looked up
and saw the olive tree burning:

an umbrella
a mushroom sprawling out,
dust blotting out the faces,
and on the waters, the winds of Sodom.

Submitted: Saturday, October 11, 2014

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