For Mourid Barghouti

In our world of violence
the small, the familiar,
sweet and sad,
acts of love and art,
are made
even more precious;
my hand strokes the words of your poems
arranged like empty houses
on the page.

you sit alone
on stony ground
leaning against
the trunk
of a barren olive tree,
you also hold
a page of your poems,
raise your head,
lift your precious cargo,
and read to the hungry bees.

words float up,
lodge in branches,
become blossoms;
wind drifts their pollen
until it finds my garden
of fir and fern,
it comes to rest on my hand
open on your poems.

Mourid Barghouti is a Palestinian poet, living in exile in Egypt.