My Own Hope

I wish to see
myself across this
sea of trials and
tribulations, with
friendship, strength
and faith; I am
my own hand
and I lift myself
out of thy miry clay.

Haikus to My Mother

I

Wash my hair
with your tears
so I may know
how to be a wife.

II

Cup my face
with your love
so I may have
courage to face
the world.

III

Show me your
wrinkled hands
so I may know
a woman’s work.

IV

Give me your
fingers too fat
for rings, I’ll
bind you to your
daughter’s love.

V

Show me your hands
that wielded the cane
for I must wash them
with grateful tears.

VI

Go to sleep now, ma.
I am home.
I am with you.

For Kabul

Yellow laleh fall
in shreds, our full
wheat pales to wreath;
now only white laleh
line our halls
of prayers, will you
hear our people cry?

For Manchester

Our red roses
lay down to rest;
three rivers aflow
with tears; my men and
women, my children,
we gather in grief but
our bees shall fly again.