Two Poems About Palestine

by Sharif Elmusa
published in MER152

In the Refugee Camp

The huts were of mud and hay,
their thin roofs feared the rain,
and walls slouched like humbled men.
The streets were laid out in a grid,
as in New York,
but without the dignity of names
or asphalt. Dust reigned.
Women grew pale
chickens and children
feeding them fables from the lost land.
And a madman sawed the minaret
where a melodious voice
cried for help on behalf of the believers.

Of course he gazed at the sky
on clear nights,
at stars drizzling
soft grains of light,
at the moon's deliberate face,
at the good angel wrapped in purple air.
     He had no ladder

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