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Wednesday, March 19, 2008


by Layla Anwar

There are days when I wake up in the morning, I feel a lump stuck in my throat.
I know from intimate observation, that it tends to form during the night and bloom in the morning like a budding flower that needs light to open up…Except in my case, it is not a flower or anything resembling a flower…it is just a lump.

I try to swallow, but I feel my swallowing as if obstructed. The lump feels like a bloc of cement, a wall of concrete…

I reach out for the glass of water that I keep by my bedside, I take small sips and feel the water zigzaging through the cement wall, like a gentle leak trying to seep through whatever cracks it finds…

I clear my throat, I cough a little, and take more sips of water, hoping to dissolve that stone…

As the day proceeeds, I feel the stone move into my plexus, and lodge there until evening…

I eat something, hoping my stomach enzymes will disintegrate it, only to have it move further down in my belly, by evening time…

By night, I consciously try to push it down, only to feel it embed in my pelvis…

I push harder as in some labour pangs, push harder and harder but no delivery is forthcoming…there is nothing to give birth to.

Then I realize, I ‘ve just lived through yet another day of Occupation.

Painting: Iraqi artist, Mohammed Sami.


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