Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Gaza – there but for the grace of God

I said i didn't need to see it
didn't need to watch the news or read the paper
knowing it was happening was enough

just read me the headlines, I'll make up the rest
My mum always used to say it,
"there but for the grace of God."

dryness in my mouth like gravel
no spit even for a course comfort bread
these tears in my heart, prick needles in my eyes
chained to the creases in my palm
a painful paradox of feeling
i give thanks i am here, not there
to witness the howl, the who, the age
6 years and no longer counting birthdays, broken
under a cloth of muslin
Muslim, dark skin, broken

i don't need to see the blood or the contortion of faces
people i have known through newsflashes
and stumbling dashes across bullet ridden roads
shot to hell

i don't need to see the violently pitted walls of makeshift sanctuaries
while the earth shakes to the growl of tanks
or shocks of mocking friendly missile impacts

A Sunday afternoon turns sage as I turn the broadsheet page
i stumble across photos and sound-bites about civilian insurgents
their fury written on stones  thrown
or rather they stumble across me and i turn away too late

too late it’s inside
too late i cannot hide
can only make my day feel better by writing a poem
to acknowledge those who live the nightmare
and apologise that i am scared

Written Zena Edwards

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