Early spring morning, cold, East of the Med Sea
in the land where Abraham, the first temple used to be
where God sent Jesus, Joseph, and Abraham,
but hours from Jerusalem.
Early spring morning, cold, in the past present or not at all
no longer on the green line but within the wall
somewhere specific between here and there
now reportable only as nowhere.
Early spring morning, cold, sun peaking over hills in the East.
Ari stands guard at checkpoint with his Uzi beast
loaded. Two dogs there for just in case
means that his mind can adjust, not race
when problems come up.
Early spring morning, cold, still shadows where she walks,
Hajar – knows what to say but not to talk
Hebrew. Under her black abaya Hajar’s mound grew
heavy, threatening, and out of view.
Up at the checkpoint now.
Ari sees the bulge, points and asks in his tongue
what under there might be slung.
She says, My baby! I am now in labor.
Begs for help, asks for favor,
But he does not speak, Arabic.
He barks for her to raise her gown
but all she understands is the frown.
Ari calls his officer over and Moshe
speaks, in Arabic – Raise your smock!
which she, for a man, certainly can not.
Feel my belly - is what she said
Don’t! orders Moshe, If it’s a bomb we’re dead!
She screams in pain, turns around
walks some steps; kneels on the ground
prays to Allah for his help.
Late spring evening, cold, sun sets
behind a burned out vehicle she steps
delivers now without flair
her baby boy gasping for air.
Again she prays, Allah, mercy.
Late spring evening, cold, some poor Arab screams,
Bastards! Don’t you see! It’s just what it seemed!
The mother cries demanding care
The babe needs help but it isn’t there.
Ari, Uzi loaded, and with dogs
watches the infant gasp and die
goes home to forget, forgive and try
to understand the reason why occupation
is still imposed on this woman’s nation.
Then celebrates freedom at his Sedar.