Creative The Fiction Issue

Poem: A concerned neighbourhood

Illustration by Neda Jahrami.

She was the well-known house in a vast neighbourhood,

and her street was never empty.

Everyday, a delivery would arrive,

the postman would appear,

boxes of sadness and envelopes of tears,

packages of love and bags of courage and extended years.

Her rooms would get full,

an overwhelming mess of mixed feelings.

And her neighbours come to knock,

but she refuses to let them in,

Never has she let anyone step inside of her,

nor climb the stairs or breathe her air.

She lives in constant, heart-aching fear of locking people in once they’re in.

Shamsa Hasher Al Maktoum is an Emirati storyteller from Dubai.