We Travel Like Other People

We travel like anyone else, but do not return to anything
         as if travelling
Were the way of the clouds. We buried our loved ones deep
in the shadow of the clouds and among the trunks of the trees.
We told our wives: bear our offspring for centuries,
that we may reach our journey’s end and see
A moment of a country, a meter of what can’t be.
In the carriages of the psalms we travel, in the tent of the prophets we sleep,
         we come out of the words the gypsies speak.
We measure space with a hoopoe’s beak
         or sing to while the distance away or wash the moonlight clear.
Long is your path, so dream of seven women to bear this long path on
Your shoulders. Shake the palmtree for each one
         to know her name and which shall be
                  the mother of the boy from Galilee.
Ours is a country of words. Speak, speak,
         that I may lay my road on stone of stone to something.
Ours is a country of words. Speak speak
         that we may know the end of this travelling.

 By Mahmoud Darwish


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