Monday, January 21, 2008


If you had been driven from your land,

If you were forced to stare at your olives
From the wrong side of a concrete wall,

If all your hopes were sand,

If you watched your village crumble
Before the bulldozers’ crawl,

If there was a tank parked at the end of your street,

If you had to queue for hours
With their gun-sights on your back,

If there was shattered glass constant beneath your feet,

If you had to lie here, trembling each night,
Awaiting the gun-ships’ attack,

If your school was a heap of rubble,

If you tore with bare hands at the wreck of your home,
But there was no one left to save,

If your crops were reduced to charred stubble,

If each day most journeys
Had as a destination an open grave,

If the ground was shaking beneath your feet,

If your voice was drowned
In the roar of F16s,

If your university was this broken street,

If everything you built
Was smashed to smithereens,

If you were in my place,
How would you reply
Were I to come to you,
With my smug face,
Counselling patience and moderation?

For all Palestinian mothers.

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