Monday, January 8, 2024

Gaza Funeral (Poem)

The lucky are those who have someone
        to bury them when they die.
            ~ Doctor in Gaza 

The too-short truce was all the time
they had to bury the dead boy lying
in their rubbled apartment. Already
they'd waited four days, the body
of their 10-year-old wrapped in
a blanket providing no warmth,
his last rites un-mouthed, never
to be heard amid the later bombings.
On the fifth day, hurrying past
the broken skeletons of neighbors'
burned buildings, the father spied
the guava tree that children used
to climb for its juicy, sweet fruits.
In the sand, giving way to the fallen
harvest, the father dug a shallow
grave and left his boy to sleep.
The epigraph and some details for this poem come from Raja Abdulrahim's article, "As Gaza Losses Mount Under Strikes, Dignified Burials Are Another Casualty" in The New York Times, January 6, 2024.

No comments: