A Villanelle for Gaza

By Suzanne Roberts

We watch for days in disbelief.
But war is death—the suffering so far away.
But it’s not the time to look away from grief.
 
The blood of children stains the streets.
Bent barefoot at the mosque, hundreds pray.
We watch, still, complacent in our disbelief.
 
The bodies tightly wrapped, seemingly asleep.
A boy looks on to where his parents lay.
It’s not the time to look away from grief.
 
Sandals and glass litter the streets.
Hungry girls beg for food for days.
We watch for weeks, still in our disbelief.
 
Parents slap their own faces with grief,
the stinging keeps the suffering at bay.
It’s not the time to shake our heads in disbelief.
 
Protestors raise their hands, shout, Kill all the Jews.
More hate born from more hate, more hate, more hate.
We watch dry-eyed in disbelief.
It’s not the time to look away, but weep.

– Suzanne Roberts is the author of three collections of poems, Shameless (2007), Nothing to You (2008), and Plotting Temporality (forthcoming from Red Hen Press). In 2008, she was named "The Next Great Travel Writer" by National Geographic Traveler. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. For more information, please visit her website at www.suzanneroberts.org.

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