Poem by Sally Elhennawy
Art by Aiza Bragg
the hay stalks whistle ‘neath the dunes
a weathered tree
stands on a hill
silence settles on the desert at noon
a heavy quiet, hot and still.
it seems no life can flourish here,
deep within this hollow land,
as rock erodes,
and crumbles into sand.
the cacti stand, lone heads
lined up in rows of
three and four
a vigil held for those who die
and for those never born.
the wind hums out a solemn tune
a ballad crooned in whispers low.
the sun that serenades the moon;
a love with no place to go.
mirage appears, a fleeting hope—
(ephemeral) and full of song.
the midday light and dusk elope;
it seems they courted all along.
the desert smiles in defeat,
brought to light;
an oracle whose lips retreat
in deference to unswept plight.
yet who is here to hear the flash?
to see the spark of revelation?
the desert’s echo turns to ash,
and then, for a moment, life is found
the desert’s dusty sighing:
slow and mournful, a tender sound,
the locust, alone, is crying.