The Child’s Hands, Feet, and Memory: Two Poems About Palestine

A Palestinian child writes his name on his body to be identified if he is killed 1023 The child’s hands, legs, and memory: two poems about Palestine Cultural currents International news and opinions
Palestinian kids write their names on their our bodies to allow them to be recognized if they’re killed. Somebody writes: “No, I can’t die.”

Poets Devorah Main and Khadija Muhaisen salute Palestinian kids

By Devorah Main

Do you bear in mind a contract?

Your infant’s hand reaches out

Your father’s huge reassuring hand

I used to be amazed at how huge it was in comparison with it

To your delicate vine fingers?

Do you bear in mind making

Fingers and palms within the church and steeple

After which open to see all individuals?

Do you bear in mind the drawing?

Eyes and mouths on fingers

Creating foolish finger individuals?

Thumb tucked round

The index finger makes the mouth

Opening and shutting –

Foolish childhood video games

And laughter creeps over our our bodies

Dissolve in air

And it reappears

Like a tickling chortle

Finger wiggle.

Keep in mind?

He would not wish to be one of many lacking ones

Or kill somebody who’s unable to establish him

The little woman wrote inside

Coronary heart-shaped palm between hearts

And the lifeline in elegant Arabic calligraphy

“If my hand survives

“That’s my identify” earlier than she was killed.

These children haven’t got it

Numbers burned into their arms

However many wrote themselves

Names, knowledge and ID numbers.

Reveals folded pants legs

The brothers engraved studying the legs

Ahmed Nateel

Joan Nettle

Rahban Netil.

Did the eldest write it to his youthful brothers?

Or maybe it was written by a trembling mom

Or a father writing whereas wiping his tears?

Now they lie subsequent to one another

Smooth brown seedlings reduce

Earlier than they’ll bear fruit.

It appeared like the entire household

They have been assassinated whereas he killed them

Name the purge

Reduce the grass

The ultimate, simply answer

Are you sufficiently old to recollect being a toddler?

Sufficiently old to recollect rising up

Possibly you even bear in mind being previous

They aren’t

Their our bodies

Reflecting recollections they may by no means have

One of many kids wrote on her arm

“No, I can’t die”

Are you continue to alive?

Devorah the Nice

October 26, 2023

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Devora Main He’s San Francisco’s Third Poet Laureate, an award-winning poet and fiction author, artistic nonfiction author, performer, editor, and professor of poetry at California School of the Arts, in addition to former poet-in-residence on the Nice Arts Museums of San Francisco. Francisco. May be accessed at

By Khadija Muhinin

You see my father, carrying me to items,

Reduce from me, and my identify is within the hearts,

It is etched into the pores and skin however you will not really feel it

Equal to you, this appears unclear.

What does it take to see it,

We’re yours and you’re we?

How a lot, oh, how a lot should we mourn?

And to make you understand, for us, hearts should yearn

To relaxation within the arms of our very candy mom,

The heat of her embrace the place all hearts meet.

How a lot is sufficient? Inform me the associated fee

The morgues are full, a misplaced world,

The ice cream truck just isn’t what it appears,

Full of what is left of me, not childhood desires.

What number of are sufficient?

We’re not simply numbers, we’re lives that matter,

However the world has change into chilly, and hearts are breaking,

In a sea of ​​tears we scream silently

Do not you see it is not only a dream?

How a lot is sufficient? Inform me the associated fee

The morgues are full, a misplaced world,

The ice cream truck just isn’t what it appears,

Full of what is left of me, not childhood desires.

What number of are sufficient?

What you do not see, what you do not know,

Our divine blood runs by our veins.

Our limbs, O pious one, bear the load of ache,

Our holy names, engraved just like the chorus of prayer.

On our limbs, we write our names,

To relaxation beneath the olive bushes, within the quiet evening.

The place the land remembers and by no means forgets,

We’re trapped in her womb, in her candy regret.

We are going to stay endlessly within the rivers, mountains and bushes,

Within the coronary heart of our homeland, the place the world nonetheless sees,

Witness to the ugliness of man and his merciless hand,

But additionally the resilience of the Holy Land.

How a lot is sufficient, we’re right here to say,

In our recollections, we’ll gentle the best way,

To vary the world, to make it proper,

In unity we’ll shine brightly.

What number of are sufficient?

Khadija Muheisen is a senior fellow on the Heart for Writing and Scholarship. She is a doctoral pupil in girls’s spirituality and philosophy.

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