Toward Memory

by Sara Abou Rashed

On his way out, the last colonial soldier exchanged his uniform
for a ballroom suit, handed the keys to a new warden,
who declared the dishonorable discharge
noble, the failed reign a historical win,
an independence in the land void
of people for the people
home at last.


In exile,
my living room
is mine because I paid for it,
stacked handmade tiles of our olive trees
as if a wall from where I stand to my grandmother’s
birthplace—a wall visible yet permeable, here and not here—
bars of a cell I inherited, rusty, and toward memory, repainted myself.

Sara Abou Rashed is a Palestinian-American poet and public speaker from Columbus, Ohio. Her writing appears in over 10 publications, including the anthology A Land With A People and the latest English high school curriculum from McGraw Hill. Sara has delivered a TEDx Talk and been nominated for a Pushcart. In 2018, Sara launched A Map of Myself, an autobiographical one-woman show about her family’s immigration journey. Currently, Sara is an MFA candidate at the Helen Zell Writers’ Program and holds a BA in creative writing and international studies from Denison University. More at  &