In her poem, “Where I’m From,” Shaymaa Salhab remembers the country she had to leave behind.
Where I’m From
I’m from snow-covered mountain,
From night-blooming jasmine,
The special flower of the night that smells like grapefruit.
I’m from crispy flatbread my mom and grandma bake each morning on a rock oven near the house,
From sweet black tea with fresh bread for breakfast.
I’m from big sour lemons on a small tree,
And sweet green grapes growing on vines on wooden frames by my house.
I’m from low morning fog over the grass,
From tiny seeds for feeding chicken,
From colorful flowers surrounding the house.
I’m from celebrating Eid,
From clapping and singing at the park,
From kids playing and shouting in the neighborhood,
From crunchy pistachio and tea cookies.
I’m from the big stone school I walk to in my blue uniform dresses with a cap and scarf,
From loud, happy lunch in the courtyard,
From dusty, green chalkboard.
I’m from Syria and those moments I miss.
Poem transcribed by Morgan Kuehler.