I Was Amal, and My Name Meant Hope

2011-2018 Yemen

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul.”
-Emily Dickinson

You stare at my bones
and then turn away.
But look for the bird
with swallow blue feathers.
I feel the flutter—here,
under my hand.
It perches,
but wants to escape,
and be gone.
You’ll see it soon,
you won’t have to wait.
I can’t seem to hold it …
there’s so much that’s wrong.
I wanted to play with the kids
and jump rope.
I wanted to dance
in a yard far away.
I wanted to stay
with my mama, at home.
I needed hope.
I wanted …
I needed …
Now you can turn
and look at the swallow.
Now you can see me.
My name was Amal.




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