Friday, December 9, 2011

That Faithful Day

(This poem is about my sense of what was happening during the Six Day War.  I was in Ramallah, just turning 6 years old.)

Here is a story for you
I know it to be true
I lived it as a child
It was not rather mild
For a kid of six
Still playing with sticks

I wondered through Ramallah
No fear - I was in the bosom of Allah
Everyone knew who I was
The son of Odeh -painting he does
A partnership of two
That I knew

I remember that faithful day
When it was taken all away
When the strange man said, “A war is coming!
Hide from the bombing”
The bombs will surely hit our wall
So close to City Hall

Gather your stuff kids
We must be like the inside of lids
Sealed away from the shelling
Coming at our dwelling
Sneak through the day
Hurry without delay

Are we safe yet?
No was the bet
This cousin’s place is a direct site
For here the bombs will surely strike
Gather your belongings once more
We must run evermore

My older brother could not wait
Surely, he was to be the bait                                                                         
My mother was filled with panic about his fate
Her eyes ever ready to locate
A curfew was imposed upon our town
Leaving it gloomy and brown

She clutched my hand
As we all walked across our land
Did he make it to grandmas all right?         
Her face filled with so much fright
I will never forget that look
I have memorized like a book

It was a long walk
Not filled with talk
No need, I realized the impact
Was my older brother intact?
That was the pain
That lay along our lane

We arrived home safely
My mother searched frantically
There over there was my brother
Safe and sound like my grandmother
What a scare it was that day
Several days after the month of May

Things changed after that
Everyday I saw a man with an army hat
He had a rifle and a gun
And I remember there was no more fun
We had to obey the curfew
Too young I was that I knew

I loved eggs and spaghetti
No more, what a pity
Eggs represent rebirth
Spaghetti is flour that comes from the earth                                                       
I died on that faithful day
Leaving behind my childhood along the way

(  © Copyright, Fadi Zanayed.  Publication or distribution of this material is allowed provided its content is not altered and the source and its author are cited.)

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