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GAZA- A HAUNTING

By Julia Wright


Photo: @eye.on.palestine


For the surviving family of murdered Palestinian poet and teacher, Refaat Alameer

In tribute to his poem: " If I Must Die ..."

For all the poets, writers, doctors and civic leaders tracked, tortured and killed by the IDF

For resisting the genocide of their people

For all their families, students and followers

For all the children of Palestine who are losing their mentors


hunched and weary

a child

who just became an ancestor

in Gaza

paces

the concrete arteries

of the belly of the beast


throughout our cities

he carries

what seems like a corpse

perhaps his sibling

shrouded in a white cloth


have you seen him ?


stumbling

under the weight

of the strange bundle

he stops at each house,

each opulent venue,

unravels the sheet

and

exposes the broken bones of the words

of the killed Palestinian poets

who were his teachers


has he knocked at your door ?


he is asking

not for alms

or tears

but that a space

a place

be given

so the warm voices

of the living

might bring

the poems back to life


each time

there is silence

or a no vacancy sign


the child

whose body

still remains unfound

under the Gaza rubble

trudges on

in the shadow of the closed buildings

that scrape

a bomb-less sky -


he does not rest


till he reaches a park

where he lays his burden down

and the other joyful children

who still have a life

interrupt their games

to flock around

and give the ghost some water

and

unwrapping the unwanted parcel

they release

a galaxy of Palestinian kites

to the american sky

and together

the children play

and their mingled laughter

flies high

in me


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