Time Warp

A Poem

By Nidaa Husain


I’m on a ship
Disoriented
The same ship my great great grandmother was on
As a teenager
When she left Scotland.
A stowaway.
I also ran away as a teenager
But not from other people.
My body has routes and bridges
And forgotten highways.
I made them.
Routes to anywhere better than home.

I had a dream on the ship.
I woke up in darkness, red lights, sweating.
I feared sharing towels,
The toilets were dirty and
I couldn’t find my clothes.

A woman once told me her cousin was dirty.
I heard what she said.
And then I knew it.

I’m under the hood of my great grandfather’s camera.
I wonder if he knows he took my portrait.
I blink to focus
On their dreams in my cells
Sewn and twisted into my DNA.
 A little too tight.

Before my mother was born
I flew at great heights
I swam through wind.
An eagle.
The same eagle that was in my grandfather’s garden
A day before he passed.

That was me in the tree frightening the loeries.
I came to fetch him.
I held him in feathers.
I watched him yearn to leave,
His hand moving from mine
and reaching out toward timelessness.
He saw it on the ceiling.
Reaching to be enveloped by his father after 70 years.
What’s 70 years between friends?