Poetic Leanings

Where do the squeamish go in Gaza?

When caked up, pungent rivers of blood shore up against your front door

When human waste is let out to marshal streets of destruction and woe

When children, frail and forlorn, hold on fiercely to a mother two days dead

When a father, a dying child laying limply in his arms runs to a hospital nowhere near

When a daughter returns to a heap of rubble that was home just ten days before

When that daughter finds the corpse of a child two weeks dead-

So long dead, it hasn’t rated a statistic and even as a belated statistic she cannot tell whether it is a girl or a boy

When the nails from the shells flying precariously close above are as long as your hand

When a child’s brain is bombed out of his head with no reference to superlative metaphor- just a grim litreality

When a brother himself no more than ten is burdened with the weight of a bleeding, burned brother

When over on the hill in the distance the fall of each bomb is celebrated by another pair of brothers

When the head of a girl protrudes from a heap of rubble like an artistic echo of the world’s complicity

When the unborn child listens to their mother wailing for a husband who is never to hear the wailing of his child-


Who closes their eyes and walks away?

And then you realise, squeamishness is a privilege few can afford.



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