The Dead Are Sleeping
They were innocent people.
They would caress their children's hair in the dusk,
dropping off to sleep.
They were innocent, simple people,
sweating during the day and smiling.
On their way home they would pause before shop windows,
measuring with their eyes the size of children's clothes,
then walk on.
They would take one step
in the early breath of dawn
to touch the tree trunks.
During January frosts,
while they were watching,
some branches would bear fruit.
Their scythes yearned for the fields,
the air in the village was waiting for their cries.
Suddenly, their wheat became ribs,
the breeze and grass, rooted
in their bodies.
They were innocent, simple people.
Each evening the sun slid its silky mantle
over their souls.
- Wadih Sa'adeh