The Lists

Behind the first letter, a shot of life darts out wearing pink, sneaks a peek, giggling

She clambers up into the crux of the Y where she dangles and swings her chubby legs

Jumping down, she runs through the arches of the M and hangs off the dot on the I

Hearing the laughter of her Baba she steps through the hoop of the O to reach him

He chases her, throwing her up in the air where she lands on the tail of the Q and laughs

Her Mama sweeps her up, kissing her dimpled cheeks,
drawing letters of her daughter’s name together
Like the string to a velvet bag of memories that draws to an end at the age of 4

Among the printed list of over a thousand names, her eyelids close and her chest becomes still

But not as a black and white statistic on the shroud of a page
Or untuned piano keys with no melody to be played

But as a pulsation felt in the fingertips that trace
The memory of colour, of life, that ebbs on the page

She is Yasmin Matouq of Gaza…..

©Hafsah Aneela Bashir



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