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Ramzi Suleiman

My Uncle


My uncle, he was so young when God embraced him with his eternal mercy.

My uncle, with his pleasant face, smiling lips and shiny eyes; so pleasant and kind and tender.

He was the kind of man that you wish he was your neighbor, door to door.

His minuses, if any, were so few and minor; so secondary, that it takes you time for to recall. Except the one, which had it not made him so confused and helpless, would have been counted a virtue. He simply loved his beautiful wife’s cooking. And she, at times, wanting to please him, would cook him two, or even three, of his preferred gourmet. She, the beloved wife, did not have a clue why, when sitting for dinner, he would become so confused and disorganized that he would sometimes stand and walk away from the table, like he was running away. She, the beloved wife, did not ask him why and neither did I. And he, my uncle, he did not say.


My young uncle, I almost forgot about him. It was long ago since he died very young, many years, before I saw her standing there in the messy railway station. So glorious, enfolded by her fountains of beauty and serenity and kindness, all pouring around her like honey.


When I looked at her, standing in the evening, there in the railway station, on the spot I became so confused and disorganized, that I even wished that I could run away and disappear.

My poor uncle, I have misjudged him. Now I know. He - like me - was so helpless, and I am like him, was confused and disorganized.

Where to start? Where to end? Here? Where honey pours from her eyes? Or here at the roses, which she call her cheeks? Or perhaps there, where I spot the beginning and end of beauty? Or, perhaps, at the fountains of tenderness; the lines of poetry, which she claims to be her lips?


I saw her standing there, and like my young uncle, I did not know what to do and where to start and where to end and where to start again and end again and start and end again and again and again