Mansour Adayfi*—released from Guantánamo Bay Prison to Serbia in 2016

When the despised one writes
of his childhood in Pakistan—remembering his father
home from his work in a faraway land,
cooking cumin-scented rice and sweetened lamb,
then scooping with his fingers, portions
into his son’s mouth, he is offering us
his father’s full humanity which birthed his own.

I know my tax money helped pay for this man’s torture
by my fellow countrymen.
What can I offer him?  What can I offer them?

What can I offer you?
That will help restore the balance broken
in our hurt and fear, so healing,
love and respect
can flow between us all?

* “Mansour Adayfi’s memoir Don’t Forget Us Here tells two coming-of-age stories in parallel: a makeshift island outpost becoming the world’s most notorious prison and an innocent young man emerging from its darkness.”


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