One Week Later: A Poem on the Eve of War

people in the wilderness pointing to the sunrise
silence as though grief
sealed my tongue to its roof
broken open by the force of a rocket
and I wait for the dust to settle
fresh blood beneath my feet


and I see the list of children
cut down in their parents arms in Sderot
and I see the face of the child
drawn black from the rubble of her home in Gaza City


my heart aches for there is no end in sight
my sight clouds with anger and fear
like a wounded bird
stunned by hatred seeping through
like sap from a wounded cedar of Lebanon
grown tall and ancient
roots feeding on blood soaked earth


my heart is in the East
even as my feet wince
on nights of broken glass
left behind
trapped under rubble
born into anger and hate and all I wish is


peace and soft dew on a morning breeze
sunlit laughter as children are
born into morning
their bodies wrapped in gentle touch
instead of white shrouds


here muezzin’s call mingles with chazzan’s chant
here God is Great and God is One and We are


brothers and sisters of human beings lifted up on chairs
instead of left like refuse on a roadside
instead of crumpled under concrete and rebar


all I wish for their children our children my children
to fall asleep safe and unafraid
to awake to hope
for this endless war to end


for Shalom is wholeness
for Salaam is whispered promise


for we are newly born into prayer
for we are not alone in grief
for we are not alone
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