7 Stanzas for 2014
I do not fare you well.
I can only fare well your victims,
and bid them à Dieu,
You have closed our year full of concrete blocks and new checkpoints
and they made their point
that you wished to slow us, stop us,
with blood-red X's marking
“This is the place where coexistence comes to die.”
Your weapons were bombs, rockets, rubber-coated bullets,
tear gas, cars, drones, and meat cleavers.
And also fireworks,
the signs of celebration are now symbols of strife.
And stones, of course.
The stones upon this 'holy' land that have seen so much,
soaked so much blood and so little rain,
they now took aim at us,
and in return stones crumbled upon the memories and belongings of families
in freshly destroyed homes.
Just in time for winter.
You meted out punishment collectively, indiscriminately,
raining summer bombs on Gazans, stealing limbs and lives from children,
ramming cars into infants.
But our children have grown throughout your blood-and-soot-filled days.
Your oppression could not stifle their smiles.
The weight of your narcissism could not keep them from growing taller,
from growing wiser than your clenched-fist version of identity.
The brightness in their eyes shines ever-clearer,
reminding us that better days are still ahead.
Let your bad days that have gone by be bygone,
not forgotten, but behind us.
You were a year of clashing symbols,
of clanging loveless cymbals.
So let us end this year of laments,
for what is lost
and what could have been.
Instead of drowning our sorrows in a goblet of anguish,
let us live life, not claim it.
We raise our glass to you 2015.
May it be a year of love (for life) l’chaim.