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Poem: A mother in Gaza

30th May 2013

At every moment, you fight

With every choking breath, you strive

With every fiery tear, you inspire

Do I?

 

Youthful sons incarcerated

Aging husband assassinated

Feeble mother shelled in her bed

Brutal casualties of Cast Lead

A sleeping angel survives, tossing in terror

Nightly haunted by blood and snipers and massacre

 

At every moment, you fight

With every choking breath, you strive

With every fiery tear, you inspire

Do I?

 

For your child, a brave smile creasing your worn face

Father is with Grandma, in God’s embrace

Your brothers will return, have faith in God’s grace

Loneliness will fade, fear abates, have faith, have faith!

 

At every moment, you fight

With every choking breath, you strive

With every fiery tear, you inspire

Do I?

 

You face the glass gaze with unwavering eyes

As he sneers, spits, barks and pries

Hour upon hour of callous indignity

Checkpoint upon checkpoint, day after day, to teach, to survive

Borne with raised chin and flashing eyes

Silent resilience, unbroken dignity, undying fire

Infusing your tired, bent frame behind the barbed wire

 

At every moment you fight

With every choking breath, you strive

With every fiery tear, you inspire

Do I?

 

You return to a crumbling concrete confine

Walls scarred by bullets and shell-fire

Wracked by agonising, lonely silence

Echoes of laughter long subsided

 

At every moment, you fight

With every choking breath, you strive

With every fiery tear, you inspire

Do I?

 

I claim, I profess, I believe

In your call for justice, freedom, peace

Your supporter, friend, sister

Am I?

 

I know, I weep, I pray

I rise, I struggle, I fight for you everyday

Do I?

 

Fatema Valji

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