Tata’s Lovesong

By Jehan Bseiso


Maktoob:  It is written.


In a big book in the sky.


Tata, my grandmother, would only tell the story in staccato:

“1948. Falasteen. Orange blossom fields. Salt. Blue Gaza waters. “

Tears in her long black lashes,

“And when my father died, his horse wept in the funeral”. 



Sikes-Piko, Exodus, memory, shrapnel, black September, blue ribbons on bloodied chests, allahu akbar.


Settlements, walls, katyushas, mahmoud darwish, Che Guevara’s lips, Jerusalem, Maryam,Kuffieh.


The artist explains to the BBC camera:

“This is post-post-post modern. It’s actually Andy Warhol, meets Baudrilliard with a hint of Jalal Al Din Rumi. The theme is…keys, as in, existential symbols. Imagine. These people left with their keys around their necks. It’s 3 dimensional: denial, delusion, deference. The photos are taken from maximum empathy angles.. you feel what they feel.”

The woman stares at the BBC camera, says:

“I am from Hebron, my house is at the corner of the big street. You know which one I’m talking about? The one with the flower shop and Abu Ali’s bakery, next to the girls’ high school. You have to taste Abu Ali’s bread.

Take two:

“My name is Samia, I walked from Hebron to Jerusalem to Jordan, and these are my keys. I hope to go back someday. Abu Ali, if you’re watching this, I just want to say that I’ve never tasted bread like yours.

Take three:

“My name is Samia, I left Hebron in the dead of night with a small parcel tied around my belly and my keys in a necklace around my neck.  One day, I hope to go back to.. get out of my face. Get out of my face.”


This trilogy has only 2 parts: beginning and end.

I put my head on your chest and wait for the summer to become winter again,

Poppies in our hair, elegies on our lips.

– Jehan Bseiso contributed this poem to PalestineChronicle.com. Contact her at: jehan.bseiso@gmail.com.

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