Avatar photo

Julie from Gaza

July 2014

A person can take just so much sad news
or guilt: that teenage Arab boy, his mouth
forced into a funnel for gas and set ablaze;
those beach kids playing soccer
in INF crosshairs; ice cream freezers
packed with bodies of dead toddlers.

The Jerusalem Post prints a Gaza feelgood

about one lucky rescued four-month filly
found with shrapnel wounds,
circling her mother’s corpse.
Soldiers embrace her like a birthday pony:
lots of hugs and group photos on Facebook
with hundreds of Friends. Sweet innocent life!
one posts. I am so glad they saved her.

The filly’s breezed through checkpoints
and marched, Gaza to Kibbutz Beeri,
where she’s watered, fed, and tied near the tanks.
Then sent to a rescue ranch
where horses and donkeys are nursed to fresh starts
and new names: Deborah, Samson, Shalom, Balfour.
She becomes Julie, Anglo for her month of rebirth.
May her nostrils forget her mother’s scent,
and her ears, the voices of Gaza.

I send the link to Kameel. His response dry as sand:
The filly Julie is the story of the theft
of Palestine. Destroy the older generation, steal
the animal as they stole the country, then claim
the animal was being saved
as they saved the abandoned country
and made the desert bloom.

But the feelgood sours. A post updates Friends
that official papers were served. Julie’s blood
drawn and sent to a lab
to determine if she must be put down

like rebellion, memory, hope.


Join the conversation