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Jameela

Me? I died with Omar.

Why isn’t he in madrasa like the other boys, he’ll ask, But he’ll mean why isn’t he on the front lines, Why isn’t he at the fence with his sling and stones, Like he asked for Omar, Rezek’s older brother. They carried him back on a board, lifeless.

"Jameela"

Three in the morning

The shuffle of Rezek’s feet wake her from her thoughts,

Not that she was really sleeping.

Who can sleep with so much to worry about?

Her husband’s pillow is empty.

Soon Yousef will come to visit us,

My husband’s friend from madrasa.

These days Yousef is a big-time commander in Hamas.

He will ask about Rezek.

Why isn’t he in madrasa like the other boys, he’ll ask,

But he’ll mean why isn’t he on the front lines,

Why isn’t he at the fence with his sling and stones,

Like he asked for Omar, Rezek’s older brother.

They carried him back on a board, lifeless.

Abu Rezek, they call him,

The weak and indecisive father of my son,

The last and only son of my bloody womb.

Who will provide for us if not our son?

His legless father?

Who will stand up to Yousef?

Me? I died with Omar.

 

                                                July 12, 2019

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