at the airport a young man
waited for his flight, saw the people around him
and their encounters
after 21 years away he wished
his country were a person
that he could tell about his feelings

he feared his homeland
might not recognise him
he feared his little brothers and sisters
might no longer recognise him
any more than his friends

he thought all of these things at the last call
for passengers to damascus
he was happy and afraid
he was undecided and feared
that his mother’s last wish
to see him
might not be fulfilled
perhaps she too would not recognise him

when he arrived he saw only strangers
who greeted him
then he saw his mother in a wheelchair
she spoke to him,
light of my life
he ran to her, embraced her
and everything started to sing

yet nothing moved him as much
as seeing his homeland again
and at that moment he wished,
he could tell it how much he had missed it
and how hard it was
to be parted from it