You started life a refugee, torn from your land and your olive trees

You started life a refugee, not a slave and yet not free

And as a child, much misery, high in the hills of Tripoli

Where you started life a refugee, and became a man too young, you see…

To help support your family, you did men’s work to earn a fee

And to serve the cause of liberty, you fought and bled in Tripoli

But through the years, your destiny, whispered tales of what would come to be

For he who began a refugee, would soon find love and plant a tree


With babes in hand, you crossed the sea. And traded bread for your dignity

You sacrificed with humility, and sold your sweat to grow your tree

And though still a child, my eyes could see, that you never lost your integrity

You toiled hard, with serenity. Your childhood dreams, just a memory

A winding path that proved to be: full of love, and pain, and family

A father’s love filled with sympathy, and the warrior spirit you imbued in me

A more kindred spirit there could never be

And then you disappeared, so suddenly…


Now I wake at night, and tragically, remember that you’re gone from me

And in the dark, my memory, plays with my mind and toys with me

For in my room, I swear I see, your loving eyes staring back at me

And if it’s a dream that lets this be, then don’t you dare awaken me

Father: the loss of you has shaken me; and longing has not forsaken me

For my love for you, mistakenly, caused all my will to part from me

While life’s perverse profanity, took all that’s left of sanity


But you did not die in vain, you see. For I will never forget what you gave to me

In my heart and soul, lives a refugee, that will wield a pen till all people are free

Through my blood and my ink, flows your legacy

And with these words, I honour thee:

For you are forever unmatched in your nobility. And forever loved by your family

And with the stroke of this pen, your memory, is etched into eternity


~In Loving Memory of Maher Chehade: April 29 1953 – May 23 2013