The Exiled

We have triumphed over the plan to expel us from history. —Mahmoud Darwish

By Roger Sheety

You will not find
What you’re searching for,
She said.

Life is in the searching
Not in the finding,
I said.

I will never go back,
She said.
You will never leave,
I said.

On the way
Was the ignorance,
The forgetting,
The remembering.

On the way
Were the schoolyard taunts:
“Arab,” “terrorist,”

On the way
Was the nightmare
And the awakening.

We were the ones
Pushed into the sea.
We were the ones
Washed upon alien shores.

And History was
Turned upside down.

And the invader
Became the victim,
And the native became
The alien and the stranger.

And the thief
Became the defender,
And the victim
The wanderer.

And yet we remain,
Wherever we are:
The living proof
Of your Big Lie,

The living truth
Of your denial.

And so we will
Always be.

For the tide turns
And the truth
Will out.

But Palestine is
A poem
Without beginning,
Without end.

Her authors
Come and go

Building with words,
With music,
With colour,

With memory,

What cannot be
What will not be

Words alone
Are never enough.

But without
We will never
Be free.

Not for nothing
Have we lasted
This long.

We must remember,
For no one will
Remember for us.

We must be proud,
For no one will be
Proud for us.

We leave
Without leaving,
We search
Without finding,

Uncovering the secret:
Life is in the creating.

– Roger Sheety contributed this poem to

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