‘The Olive Tree’ by Tawfiq Zayyad

THE OLIVE TREE by Tawfiq Zayyad (translated by Sulafa Hijjawi)

Because I do not knit wool
Because I am always hunted
And my house is always raided.
Because I cannot own a piece of paper,
I shall carve my memoirs
On the home yard olive tree.

I shall carve bitter reflections,
Scenes of love and yearnings,
For my stolen orange grove
And the lost tombs of my dead.

I shall carve all my strivings
For the sake of remembrance
For the time when I’ll drown them
In the avalanche of triumph

I shall carve the serial number
Of every stolen piece of land
The place of my village on the map
And the blown up houses,
And the uprooted trees
And every bloom that was crushed
And all the names of the experts in torture
The names of the prisons…..

I shall carve dedications
To memories threading down to eternity
To the blooded soil of Deir Yasin
And Kufur Qassem.
I shall carve the sun’s beckoning
And the moon’s whisperings
And what a skylark recalls
At a love deserted well.

For the sake of remembrance,
I shall continue to carve
All the chapters of my tragedy
And all the stages of Al- Nakbah
On the home yard olive tree!