Love Letter to a Comrade – A Poem

(Photo: Oren Ziv,

By Aida Qasim

I knew you long before the planets determined their order
Awakening a higher purpose in me
And unearthing a consciousness of a noble cause
Patiently you listened as I explored my relationship with the world
A Sufi silence and measured calmness tamed my wild spirit
But now there is a different silence in the air
It is a stranger to my soul
Your heart must know this punishing retreat
Breaks my heart a little more with each passing day
Why do you erect walls within the walls they have imposed on us?
For whom are you guarding this feral spirit that grows more strident with time?
Who holds the reigns upon you?
I can see a menacing shadow that haunts you despite your bravado
But do you think I will forget this injury to my soul?
What is left of my destiny on this journey will not heal my wound
My wound is an ageless parasite that feasts on time
It taunts me with the memory of you
Our tragedy is that we once thought ourselves invincible
Our delusions of exception convinced us that self-inflicted wounds did not bleed
We wanted to believe we were eternally bound by our love for the Homeland
Have I ever known you Comrade or are you a product of my rebellious imagination?
Have you no regard for our shared history?
How will we defeat our enemies without its lessons?
A stubborn steadfastness within me resists forgetfulness
Of a time when your shadow sheltered me against our usurpers behind the trees near the hillside
You have now built a kingdom and imposed a siege on me
But you have imprisoned yourself
You are the soil of this land purified with the blood of the Fedayeen
Have you forgotten your mother?
Just as the moon and sun never deceive the tide
Neither can you deceive the earth that labored for you

– Aida Qasim teaches Psychology and Social Work and is also completing her Doctorate in Social Work. She contributed this poem to

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