Poetry: With a Palestinian Mother

Poetry:  With a Palestinian Mother

by Fatima Rhodes


I toss and turn
Sleep evading me
The bed too crowded
With the memories
Of the web images
Of dead children,
With a Palestinian mother
I’m suffering

The deliciously ripe
Summer fruit these days
has no scent, no appeal
Unmotivated, I’d skip a meal
And when I eat, it’s just to eat
Not because I’m hungry,
With a Palestinian mother
I’m suffering

A favorite radio station
As with the house, remains silent
No talk shows, no music
No PBS broadcast
No TV, no DVD playing
The cats seem quieter,
With a Palestinian mother
I’m suffering

Fewer trips to buy food
As my appetite is waning
And fewer visits to the kitchen
But for coffee or light snacking
No recipes, no ingredients
No baking, no cooking,
With a Palestinian mother
I’m suffering

No walks in the park
The miles remain unwalked
The breezy summer eves
Can’t convince me to leave
The safety of my sofa
I am consumed with Gaza,
With a Palestinian mother
I’m suffering

Poetry books abandoned
Their pages remain unturned
Fewer texts and calls to friends
Many emails unanswered
House chores neglected
Everything seems a burden,
With a Palestinian mother
I’m suffering

And yet I can’t fathom
The heartbreak, the grief
Of a mother who lost a child
I wept until I ran out tears
And now I understand
How people die of a broken heart,
With a Palestinian mother
I’m suffering


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