Poetry from Faleeha Hassan

Young Iraqi woman with a green headscarf and a dark colored blouse and brown hair and eyes.
Faleeha Hassan
After forty years of snow

Do you remember the watch you gave to me wrapped in a poem?
It is still bound to my soul's meaning
The more time passes
The more the letters jump into my heart artery
My heart is now pumping flirtation
How many times I have wished
That if my city were not surrounded by graves
Then like a little girl 
I would wait for you in a secret garden
Come on!
Take off this thick absence
As thick as a New Jersey coat in the winter time
Melt off the snow that has stacked on the lines of your messages
Mow the grass that has grown on your tongue
Don’t save a sea of tears for me
I am not a mermaid
Make yourself present with words
Woo me
Let me stop demanding my rights
And thrive by the touch of your fingers as they play with my hair
Let me fool myself again
And see you as center of my universe.
Faleeha Hassan is a poet, teacher, editor, writer, and playwright born in Najaf, Iraq, in 1967, who now lives in the United States. Faleeha was the first woman to write poetry for children in Iraq.

She received her master's degree in Arabic literature, and has now published 26 books. Her poems have been translated into English, Turkmen, Bosnian, Indian, French, Italian, German, Kurdish, Spain, Korean, Greek, Serbia, Albanian, Pakistani, Romanian, Malayalam, Chinese, ODIA, Nepali and Macedonian. 

She received a Pulitzer Prize Nomination in 2018, and a PushCart Prize Nomination in 2019. She's a member of the International Writers and Artists Association, a winner of the Women of Excellence Inspiration award from SJ magazine 2020, and a winner of the Grand Jury Award (the Sahitto International Award for Literature 2021) and one of the Women of Excellence selection committee members for 2023. 

She's also a winner of a Women in the Arts award for 2023, a member of Whos’ Who in America 2023, and a Sahitto Award judging panel member for 2023. She's a cultural ambassador between Iraq and the USA. Email: d.fh88@yahoo.com

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