In Memory of Yusuf al-Babtain

The newspaper appears in the morning
with your name in it
It announces the unbelievable
Then goes on to tell
of the wedding of Fahd,
the birth of Zayd,
a tea party for a much liked guest,
It relates the usual trivia.

I read your obituary
once, twice, and then once more.
Perhaps they've got the name wrong,
that name that pulses in my veins
I know your name so well, your father's,
your grandfather's too, the whole family.
I go on looking for a printer's error
to preserve you alive
to have someone else dead
not checking my murderous fancy.

The minutes pass like an eternity
No news of you, no telephone call
to dismantle fear or grief
and the moment of terror.
The newspaper goes on screaming your name
in every corner
The name expands to cover all distances
I see nothing except that obituary
pounding at my ears
and locking all exits.
I dream about the telephone ringing
and of your voice, dear laughter, flowing through it
with gossip and small talk
and of sharing in your laughter
of throwing the newspaper away
and rushing to you
like an innocent child.
Have you really ... left us?
What barren days lie ahead!
To come to you with our troubles
To seek your large spirit when we feel diminished
Your strength when we feel weak
All this ... never again?
Author of original: 
Khalifa Al-Wugayyan
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