Poems of Place

Operation Protective Edge

(Jabalya, Gaza, July 2014)

I see you smiling at me.
Bright eyes, mouth open, mid-giggle.
Your brown hair tied back in a pony-tail,
pink hairband, pink hearts on your shirt.
Just like my granddaughter.
Four year old girls – beautiful in pink
shining your light into the world.

You’re cuddling your little brother,
your arm around his back
his arm around your neck
cheek to cheek, as close as it’s possible to be.
Smiling and open-mouthed,
happy and secure in his big sister’s embrace.
Just like my grandson.
Little boys – open-hearted and loving
shining your light into the world.

Who could not love you, Yasmeen?
Who could not want to protect you, Hatem?