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Palestinian Odyssey – Sixty Years Adrift

Palestinian Odyssey – Sixty Years Adrift

By Genevieve Cora Fraser

He was my taxi driver

In East Jerusalem

So proud of his wife and children

His home

“Everyone knows me

Write to me

From America

Just my name and East Jerusalem

Will do”

I dare not name him

I have heard he was arrested

Jailed

Fined an exorbitant sum

Taxed beyond his income

Fares

Were a pittance

Compared to the demands

Israel imposed

Now wants to dispose

Of his livelihood

Home

Life as a man

Of East Jerusalem

The Palestinian Curse

Non-existence

Is permitted by Israel

He was my friend

In East Jerusalem

Invited me to his home

Broke bread

Drank in Islamic

Custom

Warmth

Generosity

He was the man

Who showed me the way

Into Nablus

Alert to every danger

A guide

Through the treachery

Machine guns

Pointed at youngsters

An ancient woman and her daughters

Weeping to see grandfather

Husband and father

In the ambulance

Dying of cancer

Days to live

He was transported

To the checkpoint

Not permitted to enter

Nablus

Home of the Good Samaritan

Not permitted

To be seen

To be touched

To be kissed

A final kiss

His family stood helpless

Before the machine guns

My contact

Called on her cell phone

Across the barrier

The divide

Between Jerusalem and Nablus

Near a refugee camp

Where the poorest of the poor

Come hot and sweaty

To carry bags across

Beg for shekels

Reach out to visitors

A lifeline to their desolation

I would be permitted

To cross guided

Protected

As a non-Arab

Privileged

American

He was my taxi driver

A Palestinian

He pointed out the charred remains

Olive trees set ablaze

By Israeli un-god-like settlers

Like Moses’ burning bush

A vision of desolation

After a mighty battle

Al Nakba lived and relived

Cast off and out

Adrift in a violent sea

A world taught

To hate them

But who are the Terrorists

They are the authentic People

Of the Book

Their home

The Terra Sancta

Ancient

Uprooted

Longing to return

But who will lead them

Home?

******************

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