I am Jenin
and my heart aches with the the taste of fear, the smell of vanquishing hatred, blood spilled and smeared in the toy-strewn rubble, puddled in the dust of where I used to live.
I am Nablus
and I still hold in my hand
the keys to my father's empty ransacked home.
I am Gaza, crowded, teeming with life,
but my childrens' bellies are distended with hunger,
their eyes huge with anger and fear.
I am Jaffa and Acra, the stones of ancient arches now crushed underfoot.
I am the sunswept hillsides and beloved valleys no longer grazed.
My orchards and olive groves have been plowed under and destroyed,
my shrines desecrated, my women raped, my men humiliated and killed,
my children, -- oh my children!
I am Jerusalem, the radiant beloved Bride,
raped, waiting on her once-golden hillside
for The One who speaks of Justice and Love.
Abandoned, alone, I speak out
but the world hears neither my screams, nor my cries
nor my reasoned pleadings for justice
and common sense if not Mercy.
Desperate, enraged, I strike out
and am further condemned.
My soul is battered but not broken,
my hope is shaken but not shattered.
(I watch heartsick from afar
helpless, tearfully, endlessly pleading
that the rulers of my beloved country
would do the right thing
which they refuse to do.)
(Jenin, I share not your blood,
and dwell in the land of your oppressors
but my soul, oh my soul,
is of you, Jenin, is broken for you, Gaza.)
(I look out on my hillside,
lush, verdant, alive --
and I see the scars
where once was your world.)
Our Lord, the same Lord,
Whom we worship in different ways,
has not forgotten you, Palestine.
He does not abandon His own.
Your crowded multitudes will persevere
and will yet prevail!
I am Jenin
and my birds shall sing once more,
my orchards and flocks will rise from the ashes,
and my cities will hum with the bustle of many peoples.
Our God, God of the Oppressed and the Oppressors,
will bring Justice, and Peace,
His Love will prevail and I shall return to my home