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Lena Khalaf Tuffaha reads her poem "Mountain, Stone".

Lena Khalaf Tuffaha:

Water & Salt:

POEM: Mountain, Stone
BOOK: Water & Salt
AUTHOR: Lena Khalaf Tuffaha
PUBLISHER: Red Hen Press

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I'm Lena Khalaf Tuffaha and I've chosen to read the poem "Mountain, Stone" this poem is a an elegy for children who often go unnamed they are the most common casualties of wars and they often go unnamed and unremembered so this is my effort to really remember them.

Mountain, Stone

Do not name your daughters Shaymaa,
courage will march them
into the bullet path of dictators.

Do not name them Sundus,
the garden of paradise calls out to its marigolds,
gathers its green leaves up in its embrace.

Do not name your children Malak or Raneem,
angels want the  companionship of others like them,
their silvery wings trailing the filth of jail cells,
the trill of their laughter a call to prayer.

Do not name your sons Hamza.
Do not taunt the torturer's whip
with promises of steadfastness.

Do not name your sons 
Muhammad   Ahed  Zakaria  Ismail,
they will become seashells, disappear in the sand.

Do not name your children.  Let them live 
nameless, seal their eyelids
and sell their voices to the nightingale.  

Do not name your children
and if you must
call them by what withstands

this endless season of decay.
Name them mountains,
call them stone.