Vox Populi

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Angele Ellis: Kashishi

For Raff Ellis

How many generations

have we been peddlers of notions,

our ribbons of battle

fluttering from kashishi

livelihood out of suitcases –

from packs, from the karra

your father pushed ten miles

along the Black River?

Selling like a Syrian woman.

Like Aunt Christine,

dismissed at Ellis Island

(Country of origin: Syria

Race: Colored)

Christine, whose narrow wrists

I inherited, lifting her brother

from Mount Lebanon

with a year’s iconic work.

In the formal photograph

they sent back to the home

of war and famine

her hand is on his shoulder,

proudly thickened by labor

as his hands, resting

unaccustomed at his sides.

Now with softened hands

we wind our ribbons

through a maze of notions.

Inshallah, we can do no other.

From Arab on Radar (Six Gallery Press). Copyright 2008 Angele Ellis.


Angele Ellis’ grandfather Toufik Ellis (Kmeid) and his sister Christine Kmeid LaBrie.

2 comments on “Angele Ellis: Kashishi

  1. Charlie Brice
    May 22, 2017

    So happy that Angelle is peddling these lovely notions again for all of us on Vox Populi. These are important poems, especially now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. anisioluiz2008
    May 22, 2017

    Reblogged this on O LADO ESCURO DA LUA.


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This entry was posted on May 22, 2017 by in Poetry, Social Justice, War and Peace and tagged , , , , .

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