A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
For Ahed Tamimi
Israeli soldiers, exhausted from carrying
so many weapons for so many years,
have lost their humors, you know this.
Tear-gassing, shouting, pummeling, pushing, bullying,
it’s a rough life for them. They can only smile or laugh
when they’re alone. On the day they tear-gassed my
100 year old grandmother, they had headaches.
On the day they blackened and bruised the tender face
of my 11 year old naked cousin in the shower,
they were getting the flu.
On the day they pointed huge guns at my daddy and me
as we stood speaking to an ancient farmer
and I screamed at them and my daddy
placed his hand over my mouth…
I’m so sorry you’re in jail, Ahed.
Hopefully they’ll be feeling better soon and let you out.
When the American Vice President wore a yarmulke
to pray against the wall, what was he praying for,
if not their better moods?
It’s so hard to be them.
Exhausted from battle against
thin, strong people who only wanted
a drink of water, those devils.
How could they want so much?
How could they think picking tangerines would be allowed?
Israeli soldiers were born right and everyone else,
ahhhhhhhh. They have to let them know
how wrong it is they were born. They have so much
work to do.
Copyright 2018 Naomi Shihab Nye