February 7, 2019 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Nick Kenrick photo



Amirah Al Wassif




At the Funeral of 50 Barefoot Men



once upon a time

there was an ancient place

called “Amon village”

a very far spot

where everybody talks

about the river legend

a very far spot

where everybody knows

how to distinguish

the smell of fresh bread


there, at the Amon village

where all the folk live

in their dreams

and the blazing sun cries

against the face of heaven

there, where the poor sweeper

drowning in the colors of the rainbow

and the great brown mountain

announces its upper secret

to the mass grave

in the Amon village

where everybody talks

about the river legend

and the real tale of

50 barefoot men

in the ancient village


all people are storytellers

and all of them say

the same story

which starts with

once upon a time

there were 100 men

lived together in the same village

but 50 of them were barefoot

and the other 50 had fancy shoes

50 men sweeping the streets

and 50 men making the bread

50 looking for more

50 shoes in luxury leather

and 50 toes inflamed and cracked


the river recognized the difference

between the shoes and the toes

then it made a good decision

according to nature’s rules

and the river understood

the difference between

the torn clothing and the perfect ones

then it made a good decision

according to nature’s rules


on the ragged edge, all the people walk

under the boiling sun

all people talk

and there were two kinds of talking

talking from shoe to shoe

and talking from toe to toe

and the river didn’t love that kind of speech

so, it made a good decision

according to nature’s rules


50 barefoot men carrying

their empty pots

their facial bones

tell you about long age of bitterly

shabby dresses, fearful eyes

ancient faces full of pimples

much sweat

and shaky hands


50 barefoot men bearing their pain

looking for a way

to protect their feet

from another pain

but the shattered glass



the dispossessed people died

and the rest were alive around the river

laughing, jumping, drinking

but the river has a sense of justice

so, it made a good decision

according to nature’s rules

and dried up





Amirah Al Wassif

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 do not Eat Chocolate was published in 2014 and her latest illustrated book, The Cocoa Book and Other Stories is forthcoming.

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