A Confession

I stand between shame and relief
I breathe...
The missiles missed this time
Truth is, they didn’t’ really miss
Someone's house is destroyed
but not the house I know so well
Someone’s family is grieving
but not the one whose name I carry
I linger…
between shame and relief
I breathe…
I… breathe…
I tell myself
‘this flesh, torn and scattered,
is not flesh I have ever embraced’.
I soothe myself,
‘Nor are these small lifeless hands
the ones with a crayon I’ve traced’
I…breathe…
This time…the missiles missed
those whose names are engraved on my lips
This time
they didn’t stop
those hearts beating in my chest
They live…
I breathe…
I…breathe…
But I must confess
Every time the bombs fall on Gaza
I want answers
What did they strike?
What street did they blow up?
What neighborhood did they destroy?
What lives did they steal?
Aware of my guilt I whisper a prayer
Dear God, please don’t let it be the ones I know.
Dear God, please don’t let it be the ones I love.
Dear God….
Ya Allah...
Ya Allah...
Ya Allah…
And when it’s over
And while a less fortunate family weeps
I stand between shame and relief
I breathe…
I… breathe…
Thank God my loved ones were spared
This time.

January 3, 2009