From above the valley, Doha gazed down
upon her ancient olive grove,
cradled in the fertile crescent,
not far from Nablus;
proud of the beautiful branches: their silent symbolism.
Her once soft hands gnarled with age,
like the twisted trunks of the time-honored trees
she so lovingly tended.
But close to her grove – too close – a very
different type of crop was burrowing its roots
into the blood-rusted soil,
drawing the goodness from the land,
greedy for more – too greedy.
Doha was anxious, worried by what its harvest
might bring, fearful of a strange
and far more bitter fruit.
At night, she often asked herself
how it had come to this – a people and their culture
slowly but steadily being swept aside,
displaced, driven from their land –
and wondered for how long
others could continue to walk by, blind
to the injustice, unmoved by the voices
that would never be silenced.
Then came the day Doha had dreaded.
She woke to a death rattle
ringing in her ears
and could but watch and weep,
the stinging tears coursing down her cheeks,
as history was uprooted,
leaving the bones of a broken country,
picked clean and laid bare,
beneath her burning eyes.
– Timothy McCord has a passion for writing poetry. He lives in France, where he taught English for many years. Timothy was born and grew up in Britain, and became politically active there through his involvement in the anti-apartheid movement. He contributed this poem to The Palestine Chronicle