As He Walks Away Poem by Mahmoud Darwish

As He Walks Away

Rating: 4.3


The enemy who drinks tea in our hovel
has a horse in smoke, a daughter with
thick eyebrow, brown eyes and long hair
braided over her shoulders
like a night of songs.
He's never without her picture
when he comes to drink our tea
but he forgets to tell us about her nightly chores
about a horse of ancient melodies
abandoned on a hilltop.
Relaxing in our shack, the enemy
slings his rifle over my grandfather's chair
eats our bread like any guest,
dozes off for a while on the wicker couch.
Then, as he stoops to pat our cat on the way out,
says:'Don't blame the victim.'
'And who might that be?' we ask.
'Blood that won't dry in the night.'
His coat-buttons flash as he walks away.
Good evening to you! Say hello to our well!
Say hello to our fig trees! Step gingerly
on our shadows in the barley fields.
Greet our pines on high. But please
don't leave the gate open at night.
And don't forget the horse's terror of airplanes.
And greet us there, if you have time.
That's what we want to say at the doorstep.
He hears it well enough,
but muffles it with a cough,
and waves it aside.
As long as the earth turns around itself inside us
the war will not end.
Let's be good then.
He asked us to be good while we're here.
He recites Yeats's poem about an Irish Airman:
'Those that I fight I don't hate,
Those that I guard I don't love.'
Then he leaves our wooden ramshackle hut
and walks eighty meters to our old stone house on the edge of the plain.
Greet our house for us, stranger.
The coffee cups are the same.
Can you smell our fingers still on them?
Can you tell your daughter
with the braid and thick eyebrows
she has an absent friend
who wishes to visit her, to enter her mirror
and see his secret.
How was she able to trace his age in this place?
Say hello to her, if you
have time.
What we want to tell him
he hears well enough, but muffles with a cough
and waves aside.
His coat buttons flash
as he walks away.

Translated from Arabic by Sargon Boulos

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Edward Kofi Louis 15 April 2018

Without her picture! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us

0 3 Reply
Bernard F. Asuncion 15 April 2018

Such an interesting write by Mahmoud Darwish👍👍👍

0 3 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 25 April 2021

2) The Modern Poem Of The Day. Most deserving poem, Congratulations!

0 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 25 April 2021

In their countries they have these customs: strangers knocking at the door to drink and feed, even if he is their enemy and the house a shack. What an enormous hospitality in those countries. An excellent choice of Poem Hunter and Team as

0 0 Reply
Abdi Ismail Dalal 15 March 2021

A well crafted piece of poetic work. Absolutely beautiful.

0 0 Reply
Pranab K Chakraborty 15 April 2018

Can you tell your daughter with the braid and thick eyebrows she has an absent friend who wishes to visit her, to enter her mirror and see his secret................................................Quoted these lines as it deserve the dignity of classic poetry which stands as the pride of human brain which can think this wise way of looking the society... human society! ....

1 0 Reply
Kumarmani Mahakul 15 April 2018

Beautiful poem with nice theme. It is glad that his poem has been selected as the poem of the day.

1 0 Reply
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