A Father’s Story
This poem was inspired by one of my first visits to the South Hebron hills (Firing Zone). Our host took us around to different places in the village and told us stories about the accidental injuries and deaths, usually of children because of Israeli weapons testing in the area. The poem is a compilation of a few of the stories I heard. I post it now because yesterday the court proceeding began, and within 60 days the fate of this family and 7 other villages will be determined. (For more information click here)
A Father’s Story
I still smell the air, I can feel the sun
I can see the smile on Khalil, my eldest one
He rode away, hooves clip-clop on stony ground
All of a sudden I hear the most terrible sound
The horse stepped on a rocket of Israel’s leaving
Today I sit remembering, grieving
I talked to the soldiers: How can this be?
You fire your rockets for my children and me
to happen upon them collaterally?
I need an answer, do you hear what I’m saying
Why is my boy in the ground laying?
The soldier stood tall and unashamedly replied
It’s not our fault your son haphazardly died
The fault falls on you, don’t try to blame us
You should have left your home without any fuss
Don’t you get it you backward Palestinian
We need your land to practice killing
I’ve lived on this land since I was a kid
I plant my crops here like my grandfather did
Now your telling me it’s my fault the rockets keep coming?
I should leave all I have and let my kids starve while I’m bumming?
No! I’ll still harvest these fields, and I’ll raise my boys
and we won’t be afraid of your bombing noise
As for your sins we’ll start forgiving
Because this is our land! And we practice living.