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Sonia Nettnin Poem: The Palestine Olympics

The Palestine Olympics


By Sonia Nettnin

Children run
barefoot
in Gaza, where
life is a marathon
for survival. Existence
under
military occupation
is a gasp for

Breath
summer heat, skin
sweats into
dreams of

Sea water. Beaches
forbidden by
soldiers with guns
terrorize people
until tears stream
down

Cheeks. Bodies face
hurdles, air, space
and water, spare
some bread for
mouths of babes. Sweet-

Hearts feel hunger
pangs, hands wave
when bulldozers raze
houses. Sleep between
crossfire wakes
eyelids
hold heroes’ cries
burn memories
nightmares, read on…

School is scary
children lose
eyes
to bullet shrapnel
if the army lifts
curfews
and camels
glide through

Needles, thresholds
flex necessity. Women’s
muscles contract –
push checkpoint
babies and
men stand against
the wall. Every day of

The year angels run
for freedom, and they stride
feats in stone rubble and desert sun, catch rays
breath in the home stretch
olive branches, the heart
of a champion
is the Palestinian people.


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