Sunday, February 6, 2011


The year I married in Japan
I left my bride and inlaws
And went walking in Cairo
As M1A1s kicked up Babylonian sand
The Egyptian Brothers of Baghdad
Scowled at my white skin
And called “Amerika? Amerika?”
I quickly learned the answer
That made them smile and hug me
Ana misch Amerika. Ana Kanada.”
Every cab driving Cairo lawyer
Every deal driving tea sharing merchant
Had a brother in Toronto
Working at a pizza shop

When Sadam’s statue was toppled in Firdos
I stood with Egyptian students
Looking at Mubarek’s face in Tahrir
An angry young man calmly said
“One day, we too shall arise
And drag the dictator Mubarek down”
The Egyptian beauty with us
Took off her headscarf in protest
And was called a whore and spat at
By laborers at a mosque we passed
“I have not seen her hair”
The angry young man calmly said
“Since we were children
Some things in this country
Make me very sad”
The Egypt Daily News exclaimed
“The Arab world has lost
The greatest dictator it has ever known”

One percent Muslim a millennia ago
One percent Christian today
Who knows what Egypt will be tomorrow
This is where gypsies come from
The only constant in Masseru
Is change and shifting sands
The Sphinx gave only riddles
Never answers

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