Words for Gaza


(on the occasion of “Operation Cast Lead”

Words for GazaThey come out from under the table, gather
a few clothes, a few extra oranges, carry
their boy with the headless bear in his hand, leave
toward the shelter of their hut in the field, are wounded
by the burning fragments of glass
exploded from the dead mosque.
She comes out of the cotton-like smoke, her
husband’s silence echoing behind her veil, covered
in dust turning soft and green, the blood
of her son burns on the cold of the sheet,
with no strength to cry, nor to open his mouth
in the overflowing corridor of the hospital.
Such a waste of time, such a waste of life
such a waste of pity relentlessly postponed,
from the open skies, from the breadth of the bay
bombs of lead from a long-threaded lottery,
a futile battle where revenge awaits not:
smoke in smoke, stains upon stains.



Antoine Cassar
5 January 2008
translation from the Maltese by the author


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