Aseel Turned Away at Airport Gate

by Susan Shaw Sailer

How I learn English? Hah!
My older brother study in American university,
marry American girl, come back to Baghdad.

They live in our house two, three years
then get own house. She very good teacher,
learns me much better than my college teacher.

I not good writing English—not pencil,
not pen, not computer. No! But speaking,
yes! Words run loose in my head, twist

and tilt, then like dragonfly
out of nymph, my words come
beautiful, like wild iris.

So I translate for two American soldiers
four, five years. My English so good
they say I save their lives so many times.

They wear very good helmets, Kevlar vests,
I wear shirt and cap. Ok, I don’t be wounded.
But now my visa to come to America no good.

ISIS want to kill me, bleach my bones white
because I help American soldiers.
They vultures, want to pick my bones.
What I do?

I make plan B. My buddy Omar train to be
pilot. I hide in baggage, hop out
when he land in Mosul, follow River Tigris
into Turkey. Then I safe.
Maybe Turkey rainbow for me.

Susan Shaw Sailer lives in Morgantown, West Virginia, and has published two books, The God of Roundabouts and Ship of Light, plus a chapbook, COAL. Her poems have appeared recently in The Main Street Rag, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and Minerva Rising.

Copyright 2018, Susan Shaw Sailer

Prior Contents Next