Losing a Homeland by Zeina Azzam

Losing a Homeland

It’s as if we are reading a book
with too many unfamiliar words
and keep having to look them up.
If only it were that easy to understand the story
of how one loses a homeland,
how a young couple flees
with only a suitcase to fit their life’s belongings.
In their minds the sentences shortened,
certain words disappeared, some things
were unspoken until their hair grayed, fell.
Maybe they would never be uttered or heard.
How will our family story live?


Zeina Azzam is a Palestinian American poet, writer, editor, and community activist. She is the poet laureate of the City of Alexandria, Virginia, for 2022-2025. Her poems appear in literary journals, webzines, and anthologies, and her full-length poetry collection, Some Things Never Leave You, was published in July 2023 by Tiger Bark Press. Zeina’s chapbook, Bayna Bayna, In-Between, was released in 2021 by The Poetry Box. She has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize. www.zeinaazzam.com