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Arthur Heifetz

 

 

 

Berber Song

 

sometimes the heart

is a dried up oued

nothing but stones

sometimes the olive trees

are arthritic old women

with twisted limbs

unable to bear fruit

sometimes we spend our nights

huddled close to the coals

our burnooses  drawn tight

against the cold Saharan wind

 

and then the rains pour down

like a gift from God

flooding the river beds

filling the valley with roses

so beautiful

they make the stones sing

the gardens are showered

with small apples

the sparrows flit

from rock to rock

in search of fallen fruit

the knowing storks

perch on the adobe walls

one leg tucked

under their wings

and nod as if they had

witnessed this scene

a million times

 

from the roses

we distill the perfume

which young girls

rub on their skin and

spray on their crow-black hair

 

and slowly love returns

Art Heifetz teaches ESL in Richmond Va. to mostly Middle Eastern students. He has published over 200 poems in 13 countries. He has taught in Tunisia and Iran. See polishedbrasspoems.com for more of his work.