Invisible Mothers



where they are from

their mothers’s shadow

is a sheet of tracing paper

on either translucent side

a mother and a daughter

can neither be separated

nor look at each other. *



where she is from

mothers have no warmth

no smiles no skin

nothing that makes

them seem mothers

except alabaster wombs

like deserted cities.



where he is from

mothers are silent

daughters silenced

streets have eyes

blinking restlessly

twisted burst pipes

imploring the ashen sky.



where we are from

mothers weave for redemption

intricate works of abandon

that hold cracks in time

sunrays for nothing

shapeless vanishing

refugees’ memories.


Armilla and Zora:

where I am from

daughters have more

white hairs than mothers

who is unfinished

who demolished

who is unforgettable

because invisible?


* Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities, 1972.


(Sabine Huynh, published in The Last Stanza – An anthology of poems from Tel Aviv)


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