He remembers his name


He remembers his name,

Not his age, claim or gods.

Poetry and family may be lost,

but his ancestral name

haunting and concrete,

flows in his breath,

with force and fright

against denial and doubt


He remembers his name to frame

How it felt to be a man, a father, a son, 

How it felt to love and want and lose,

How he will recite his name again and again,

Until every ear bears the burden of his fame


He remembers his name

to map country and duty.

…to find dinner and family

to warm his bed and fancy


He remembers his name to forgive and embrace

What he cannot count,

What he cannot have,

What he cannot face


He remembers his name so that I,

his accountant and mistress,

Will know how to find him

under his final stony address


Remember his name,

Ruwaidan bin Ashraf bin Jawad al-Khalidi.


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