The Common Good
August 2006

Paradise: Under the shade of swords.

by Christi Kramer | August 2006

At the feet of the mothers.

The safest place in the world for you is curled up on the
companion’s tomb.
In the figs above your sleeping, there is a nest.

The tender man sells sweets. Here the veil between worlds
shimmers thinnest.

Your mother reached out, caught the smallest feather in the
air. Each year she made two
new pillows. Your father, at the mosque, hand-fed a turkey

The turkey, fat already, jumped over the wall and into the city
with at least three names.
Through the ancient streets he wandered to the sweet seller
who read prayers into the air.

You recall how other times you took yourselves to caves.
Elsewhere you read over and over The Throne.

When oppression exists, even the bird dies in its nest.

My sweet, sweet love, today they bombed this place.
On the news I saw an eight-year-old digging graves.

Christi Kramer is a graduate of George Mason University’s Creative Writing program. This poem is from Reading The Throne, an ethnography-in-poetry of Iraqi Kurds exiled and living in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Related Stories

Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)