A Question from the Refugee Camps

By Amirah Al Wassif

I asked them

How the sun says hello to everyone

Then they laughed bitterly

Without sorrow,

And told me: “Ask the gun”

Her red spark

Sharp like the dark

Permits the light to enter for none.

They asked me: “What is the sun?”

“When will our expected meeting be done?”

Since their question

I did not ask again,

Because everything was all so clear

Through the war stain.

There, in the Somali lands, you can find the answers

Upon the clouds, in the camps, even on the children’s features

There, in the Somali lands, all details are written without ink

The only truth here requires you to think

About those people who live without fun

But you still ask about their sun.

Among the refugee camps in Baidoa

I found a baby clinging

To the arm of his mama

Who seemed to frown

The baby opened his eyes wide

Looking for the next light

But his mama knows

No light comes without a fight

Among the crowd of lost African bodies

He held my hand tenderly

He was selling water to the ladies

Who were sitting on the docks

With their pots

Waiting for the day.

In the Somali lands

They asked me

How the sun says hello to everyone,

So I replied with no hesitation

No sun comes with a gun

Amirah Al Wassif is a freelance writer. She has written articles, novels, short stories poems and songs. Five of her books were written in Arabic and many of her English works have been published in various cultural magazines. Amirah is passionate about producing literary works for children, teens, and adults which represent cultures from around the world. Her first book, Who Doesn’t Eat Chocolate, was published in 2014, and her latest illustrated book, The Cocoa Book and Other Stories, is forthcoming.