Life was a dream: A translation of an Arabic poem I wrote on 25.2.1997 at 6AM in St. Joseph Hospital, Phoenix Arizona, USA while waiting to be wheeled to OR for cervical neck surgery. The poem expressed how I felt at that time.                                               

 

Far away from home in this location,
Away from my children with miles of separation
Overwhelmed my heart with sad sensation.
 
Poetry sprang out of my chest,
My thoughts will fly out of their nest,
Until anesthesia puts them to rest.
 
Fifty years have passed on me;
Life was a dream that I could see,
My days were like waves of sea,
or green leaves on a tree.
 
Those leaves were shining like jade,
In bright light or shade,
They did not wilt, they did not fade.
 
Illness surrounds my neck like a rope,
I was patient until I could not cope;
I came here with glimpse of hope.
 
My youth had run and gone,
Old age took over the place.
Farewell to youth, life, and fun,
Illness and pain came to embrace.
 
I thought of my life … I cried.
The flower of my life had wilted and dried,
And slipped out of my hands,
To be blown by the wind over the sands.
  
So, when youth left me in a rush,
Old age traveled around my flesh,
And chose my vertebra to possess and crush.
 
I was patient with my illness,
Its pain and stiffness,
Until my nerve had no reserve.
  
Submitting to the blade, oh… I hate,
Rushing into surgery is not a brave state,
If my illness allows me to wait.
 
Death is inevitable; I was not scared.
My concern was for the children,
They should be spared
Of miseries and cries;
Even now, they could be heard.
 
I do not know my fate,
I may survive.
Illness is curable, if death did not arrive.
 
Oh, I cry with sorrow;
My life had gone,
As if there was never yesterday under the sun.

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