To Rachel with love – A Poem

[From the point of view of Rachel Corrie (April 10, 1979 – March 16, 2003) killed day by an Israeli army bulldozer.]

By Zahra Pilavdzic

First they came for the land
ripping roots like teeth
from the smiling faces of children.

They come for the mothers
who cry for yesterday’s trees
and the memories of destroyed villages.

Bleeding women who clutch the air
for stolen children and mourn
the martyrs of tomorrow.

They come for the fathers
who cling to hope like an anthem
on a broken record of sumoud,
repeating the most urgent of prayers.

Then they come for the tears..
which multiply at night like distant screams,
left unchecked and deafening.

I tried to stop them!
My small lone frame,
my large, loud voice;
flattened by the invaders fears,
so foreign and menacing.

Their fears!
Enough to turn
my yellow hair…

They came for me,
an American;
until I was as dead,
as the flag I was wrapped in…

The flag I burned only yesterday!

They came for Palestine;
and took my life, my warrior blood!
I, not of bombs and bullets

So foreign and menacing…

My blood: American!
My heart: Palestinian!

– Zahra Pilavdzic contributed this poem to

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