Two Poems by Sarona Abuaker Bedwan


My Mother’s Third Imprisonment

Conceive this moment
come to understand it(’)s history

soldiers shove a tray of olives
under the door
she carves
holes into the pits
using a nail finds
a string
makes a bracelet.
Resistance sometimes looks like constraint.
Her cell lined with used tea bags
strung up drying
waiting for reuse throughout the weeks.

The soldiers do not come around.


Walking on Portobello Road/Laa, sh3ra ras al 3mood

The top of the hill asks why
there are so few women on the streets
at night they split                                            so wide now
so open                  swallowing bullets whole
i step off the tube into a service
reaching for an oyster pulling out a blue shekel rolling into
itself foaming at the mouth a tasree7 flashes gold
my necklace stops me gun and finger in face he looks at my chest and says “sarona”
heart hammer
smith and city line leaving – is that your name?

Why is your name                                       Arab

Where did you come                                   From

Why are you                                                  Here

– checking points to checkpoint –
no curfews from Brockley to Al Sharafe
they only put padlocks on our homes when the banks take them
she screams they are coming on fire
storming city buildings demanding
answers for the dead cannot move but they speak
through what we create
his face painted into city steel cranes towering skies eyes black graffitied sunken deep into
the walls beneath watching their shadows
torturing uniforms
our cacti can still be found              we water ourselves in memories and imagination
thorns prickling stabbing
there are some things
refusing to be touched.
My hands trace over the white jutting stone
three stories tall
each story for a family                    each story is empty and still with silence
in such spaces where we are walking on our graves
she picked up her friends’ brains s p l a t t e r e d on the sidewalk
she put rose water on them afterwards
summoning smoothness from the hardness
Plunging into the sea
a Blue and White Bon Voyage! before entering Jericho from Shepherds Bush
soldiers telling my mother to leave her one-year old daughter at the border so she can move on.
We must struggle to imagine what love will look like in liberation.

 Laa, sh3ra ras al 3mood – No, the street at the top of the pole (a street in Ramallah)
Tasree7 – visa


About the Author:

Sarona Abuaker Bedwan is a poet, artist, activist, and educational outreach worker exploring the interstices of visual cultures, Palestinian futurisms, and queer phenomenologies. She is based in London.