The Palestinian

Monday, September 24, 2018 - 6:58pm

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Michigan in Color

Three inches from the top
One inch from the sides
And one inch from the bottom
Margins are the parts of the page outside the main body
Outside the limit of what is important

Outside the limit of the green line we found
Who is not important
Palestinians living in East Jerusalem
Where a stone’s throw and a Jewish mother affords you
Better housing, cleaner streets and the chance to live
Beyond survival

In the basement of an educational bookstore
At the end of a room
Sat a man who was not a man
He was an immaterial country
The wounds of a conflict
The mat of an oppressive government
No
More than a man
He was a voice

With the Jewish Israeli trumpet of triumph ringing in my ear
I sat and I listened
And I listened and I sat
And I remained still as the sand on a beach
While this tide of a man
Who was really a voice
Forced me from my position
And into the rocks of his truth
“This is a national struggle”
The voice said
And suddenly the Palestinian was not a resisting citizen but a rebelling nation

The Palestinian is one-third of the Jerusalem municipality
But 12 percent of the budget’s burden
In the West Bank he is neither citizen nor resident
He is a number
A statistic
A terrorist

The Palestinian is
the wrong color
The wrong religion
The wrong language
He is one inch from each side
Surrounds the main body of Israel  
Is outside the wall
A margin

I did not pity the voice
Because it was strong
But I pitied his listeners
because it was alone
Like a tune arranged for a mass choir
We heard just the tenor
Or maybe a soprano
But for us to understand the lyrics
We must complete the choir
And sit and listen some more