Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Sharon Doubiago: God the Father, the Magi, the Dead Sea


You are sitting bare bottomed on the shores of the Dead Sea

1300 feet below sea level

looking back at the Christian Palestinian Arab you’ve just learned

is your father. The photo has hung on all our walls since. Love


thy neighbor as thy self, he said. Love

thy enemy and offered up his only body


You are sitting there, your little body on the Dead Sea, east

of Bethlehem, on the shore of Moses and Jesus. On the blood

1300 feet below. The Cedars of Lebanon are your bones

and the Rose of Sharon, all the lilies of the valley

blossom you. Mi Nazarene, mi Sea of Galilee, mi

Palestine, mi Gate of Tears


In the other photo your mother took this day, your young bearded father,

his hands curled, his trousers rolled, looks down on you

in your overalls, your fists curled, your baby feet

turned out, your 22 months in defiance to this Sea


His Paris shoes, red lined, sit perfectly aligned

in the right corner on the ancient shells still not ground

to sand. Our


Copyright 2008 Sharon Doubiago. From Love on the Streets: Selected and New Poems by Sharon Doubiago. University of Pittsburgh Press. Reprinted with permission of the author.

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