A Confession

By Samah Sabawi

I stand between my shame and relief

I breathe…

The missiles missed this time

Truth is, they didn’t’ miss entirely

Someone’s house is destroyed

but not that house I know so well

Someone’s family is grieving

but not the one whose name I carry

I linger…

between my shame and relief

I breathe…

I… breathe…

I tell myself

‘this flesh, torn and scattered,

is not flesh I have ever embraced’.

I soothe myself,

‘Nor are these small lifeless hands

the ones with a crayon I’ve traced’

I…breathe…this time.

The missiles missed,

those whose names are engraved on my lips

This time

They didn’t stop

those hearts beating in my chest

They live…

I breathe…

But I must confess

Every time the bombs fall on Gaza

I search for answers

Where did they strike?

Which street did they blow up?

Which neighborhood did they destroy?

Which lives did they steal?

Aware of my guilt I whisper a prayer

Dear God, please don’t let it be the ones I know.

Dear God, please don’t let it be the ones I love.

Dear God….

Ya Allah…

Ya Allah…

And when it’s over

And while the less fortunate ones weep

I stand between shame and relief

I breathe…

I breathe…

Thank God my loved ones are spared

This time.

– Samah Sabawi is a Palestinian writer and poet from Gaza. She is currently residing in Australia. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.

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