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Palestinian Welcome Smashed Against Israeli Wall

Palestinian Welcome Smashed Against the Israeli Wall


By Genevieve Cora Fraser

The shared taxi
In the torrential rain
Was open for business
As I crowded in
Between Muslim
Women in black
Hajibs and skirts
My black furry
Sheepskin hat
And long maroon
Coat contrasted
With the sleekness
Of their garb
The door slid
Slamming shut
The driver shouted
Destinations
In Arabic
As he hopped
Back in
And drove out
Of the crowded
Bus station
I held a slip of paper
The name and number
Of the street
Where we would meet
Written in a language
They could neither read
Nor write my pronunciation
Was a joke they understood
Arguing among themselves
About my western protrusion
In their eastern midst
Soon they relaxed
Laughed
And gestured
A promise
To help the stranger
Who had been
Warned against them
By all she knew back
Home now far
Away in amongst
The Arab host
I smiled
With my sisters
In longing for peace
In sorrow
In loss
And confusion
Searching for a friend
Lost so long ago
Now found
In his homeland
Palestine
Decades ago
He too was lost
In exile among
American hosts
As Israel raided
And rampaged
Occupied
And exiled
Those outside
The gates
Forbidden
To enter
For years
Now nearly
Forty years
Later the storm
Troopers gather
At checkpoints
Corral the eastern
To separate the western
Jews from co-mingling
As we drove
Through potholes
Puddles turned to geysers
Along Jerusalem byways
Headed to Ramallah
The drone of the engine
Replaced the chatter
As we sped
Past the crumbled wreckage
Homes pocked and assaulted
Alive with hope we rode
Lost in our thoughts
Though weary, dreary
With the weather
We were wary
Of the Israeli jeeps
Soldiers deep
Into fears
Passed
Splashed
The taxi van
Streamed
Fast toward
The gathering
Crowd
Submachine guns
Drawn
Ready to smash
Palestinians
To the ground
IDF leapt
Like leopards
Growling
Commands
As they slammed
Victims against
The cement barrier
We were blocked in
Trapped
In checkpoint
Traffic
Another day
Lost in the confusion
Of confrontation
Violence
Conceived
Born
Of the Zionist mind
Set like the cement
Barriers they erect
Against equality
And respect
The IDF
Inspect
Those they are taught
To fear
Terrified
Like children
Trigger happy
Ready to explode
They inspire
Resistance
From those they control

ENDS


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