He lays a map upon the table
fingering their long journey
from the smudge of home
and stabs red-lined borders
that thread like arteries over the creases.
He does not want his children to forget.
His touch finds the place
they should now call home–
this wound on the paper
where their healing can begin
and where every voyage taken
gives promise of a new life.
Yet his head harbors lists
reluctant to recede, grievances
as infinite as time passing in foreign tongues,
remembered losses that may still break him
and an ache for the land left hungry and alone,
withering into a sort of history.
This is their future now, reached
by the single span of a hand across a map.
He will pleat his sorrow into its folds,
pocketing the past in that place
where every road must surely lead
and only the persistent heart can finally know.
Lynda Tavakoli has the good fortune to spend half the year in Northern Ireland (where she was born) and the other half in the Middle East. She is author of two novels and a short story anthology but is presently working towards her debut poetry collection. Her poems have been widely published in Europe and further afield, having most recently been translated into Farsi, her husband’s native tongue.