Why We Left Damascus

Once you’ve been through Bashar al-Assad,

the bigots around here aren’t all that bad.
Their words are hollow men.
And if you think I’ve let them off the hook,

the star and stripes are in my book
that I will write and deal with then.

I do this for the children of my heart.

Lily lives aren’t torn apart
when they sleep.
They dream about the mountains and the seas

in a Turkish camp for refugees
and the women who still weep.

And if you ask us why we left Damascus,

look at my family’s face.
We love this place.

In a Berlin departure lounge

we forgot not to beg and not to scrounge.
We changed in a bathroom stall.
We shared a crusty loaf of bread.

The airport floor was our family bed.
I dreamed of Montreal.

Even though I’ve got a PhD,

and drive a cab in Bramalea,
it won’t be long
before I pass the citizenship test.

My English ain’t the best,
but I helped to write this song.

And if you ask us why we left Damascus,

look at my daughter’s face.
We love this place.

Now I’ll never go back home.

I’ve left it there to fight them on its own.
My heart is straddling the sea.

I’ll never see my sister or her family.

You who live with satin on your sin

look at us like stitches in your skin.
But staples are your friend.
You’ve tried to pull the sutures way too soon.

I’ll keep pressure up on your wound
to help your conscience mend.

I keep a flag of Syria in my top drawer.

And I know why.
The maple leaf is in my chest.
I use them as a shawl and shield

and coat of peace that I will yield
until winter winds of war are laid to rest.

Now I’ll never leave my home.

And if you ask us why we left Damascus,

look at my baby’s face.
He loves this place.

Now I’ll never go back home.

© AudSongs 2019

Petawawa Blues - The Kelly Song Collective
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© 2019 The Kelly Song Collective