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Poets Corner: A Mother in Palestine

29th Apr 2022
Poets Corner: A Mother in Palestine

At every moment, you fight
With every choking breath, you strive
With every fiery tear, you inspire
…Do I?

Youthful sons incarcerated,
Ageing 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!

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,

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 (@fatemavaljipoetry)
From ‘Who am I? A Collection of Reflective Poems’
published by @sunbehindcloud

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