Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Choosing Sides (Poem)

Choosing Sides

      after The Color of Olives*

Higher than in Berlin, the wall here blocks
all natural light. On the face of it,
the children paint rocky hills to climb,
their parents dream of the color of olives.

Twenty feet up, the concrete stops its rise
the way no fence can stop the shots
from either side. The children are resourceful,
dig deep, go under, get past.

Deprived, the ground cracks, spreads its eruptions
wide in the dust the children search
for some sign with which to imagine
once again the heady scent of orange trees,

roots meandering like fingers trailing water.
These divisions course beyond the demand
for papers. Outside the main gates, well beyond
the checkpoints, the land claims no ashes.

2016 © Maureen E. Doallas

* Directed by Carolina Rivas, The Color of Olives is a documentary about a Palestinian family in the West Bank whose home is surrounded by a 20-foot-high concrete wall, electric fences, armed soldiers, locked gates. The film may be viewed online.

No comments: