Mother of Palestine

Mother of Palestine
By Imran Zaman Ali

Why do you mock me, sun, with your touch;
Your warm embrace; your light?
Why keep me in your celestial clutch,
And shield me from the fight?
I see, in you, no sign...
Leave this Mother of Palestine...

The day seemed so sublime, opportune,
With no premonition at heart.
The morning, from night, appeared so soon,
As though you could not wait for the start.
Your envisage was granted. Shine,
Boast, taunt this Mother of Palestine...

I watched my child leave for school;
I left him in your guard,
Running in your ambience; I am a fool,
For letting him beyond the yard.
My boy, an angel of mine:
The Noor to this Mother of Palestine...

My husband also departed,
And left with a cool kiss.
He ran to our boy, they never parted;
Their smiles; their laugh: bliss.
My love, for them, more vast than the Rhine,
The habeebies of this Mother of Palestine...

Later, I sat in your company;
Your rays, so seductive.
Silence enveloped our harmony,
And the stillness seemed strangely productive.
Then, you pierced the silver line,
And brought pain to this Mother of Palestine…

Silence combusted in distant flames,
Harmony rose in smoke.
Rockets and shells; tanks soon came,
The dread in my heart awoke.
My son, my husband… I prayed they were fine,
But sabr was not with this Mother of Palestine…

I ran through the streets,
The school: my destination.
My neighbours, once tranquil and sweet,
Now hysterical; in a state of damnation.
Their children did not whine,
But cried, for their Mothers of Palestine…

I emerged in the main street,
Only to be welcomed by war.
Bullets soared and whistled; some would meet,
With a torso; lancinate to the core.
Guns roared in succession like a wind chime,
But no pleasant sound for this Mother of Palestine…

Debris rose as mortars fell,
Buildings toppled like a tower of blocks.
If decrepit faces escaped, you could tell,
That their life was not saved, just prolonged; no shock.
Others were trapped; even families of nine,
But time was not spared with this Mother of Palestine…

Through the bazaar, the screams were louder.
Stalls flipped over for cover.
Once falafel’s scent – now gunpowder,
Sprawled on the ground, were the merchant brothers.
Kind men; what was their crime?
Faceless, mutilated in front of the Mother of Palestine…

Nearly there, I passed a friend’s house,
Well, what was left of it.
As her husband was beaten, her life-long spouse,
She was dragged away, decrepit.
I can only hope she is fine,
I pray for that Mother of Palestine…

The school was through the alley,
I dared not succumb to presumptions.
And there was my husband; in his arms, my baby,
They ran to me – discarded presumptions.
Surely, this was God’s sign,
That I was blessed, this Mother of Palestine…

But as they neared, I caught a flare;
A glint, behind them, vanished.
It pierced them both, a hole made bare,
They fell. My heart, for a beat, famished.
My love… my baby… they were mine,
Now gone from this Mother of Palestine…

I lay here now, with your unwanted glow,
And my life, dead in my arms.
This morning, none of this would I know,
You deceived me; I won’t be calm.

I scream, I cry, I curse your equality,
Granting those monsters the same.
Avenge me, and burn them slowly,
Show them all my pain.

This land is cursed; it hosts Death,
And Death has left me with hollow trophies.
I ask of you, to release your breath,
And burn us all in glory.

Then new life may flourish and grow,
And hatred will be desolated.
We have not done a single crime,
But I will sacrifice for the war to be annihilated.

Grant me this favour of mine…
Emit your cleansing shine…
This nation will not perish in time…
Listen to the Mother of Palestine…