We are Not as Strong as Palestinian Children – A Poem

A Palestinian child in a displacement camp in Rafah. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine ChronicleI

By Paul Salvatori  

When I hear children cry I think of
Palestinian children
it doesn’t matter that these cries are from
soon as I hear them I think of the children suffering in Gaza
hungry bleeding under rubble
with no family left
the little girl asking her rescuer to save her family before they save her

perplexed by how so much courage
courage greater than ours
can fit in such a small body
and the goodness of Palestinian children
that somehow always withstands this terrible world that watches their genocide-like spectacle horror movies no direction
but a billion-dollar budget that’s constantly renewed by the emperor’s friends

I need to go home
into my empty apartment
off the main ortaköy drag
pull the curtains lie down in darkness so I don’t see hear children outside crying
triggering sights of Palestinian children for whom i can never do enough
even if I buy all the bread from the loud vendor pushing the cart on the street below
and send it all to Rafah Maghazi Khan Yunis
where so many children malnourished

they don’t need his day-olds
they deserve the food we hoard
forgetful pigs in restaurants getting updates on our phones before we return to selfies and laughter

we don’t know the suffering
and we don’t know how to suffer
without making it about us

we are not as strong
as Palestinian children

– Paul Salvatori is a Toronto-based journalist, community worker and artist. Much of his work on Palestine involves public education, such as through his recently created interview series, “Palestine in Perspective” (The Dark Room Podcast), where he speaks with writers, scholars and activists. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
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