a shell broke the silence,
of an about-to-cry child.
He was scared but more scared to cry.
It broke the silence of the owls during the night.
There were no owls,
and no crickets.
A raid broke the silence of peace,
the silence of freedom,
the silence of the those promised to stay by us.
It also breaks the glass of the window over that child.
His father and mother were in shock,
not knowing whether to cry,
to ask for help,
or to refuse to die.
No one to help them though,
but to hug their child and pray.
Nothing to do though.
but to curse the wars,
and its makers.
Shall we stay or leave?
The mother whispered,
but no one heard her.
Shall we stay or leave?
She again whispered and groaned,
but none responded.
It was dark.
No power during the night,
no mercy but the mercy of God,
the mercy of war makers already died.
Shall we stay or leave?
She again, asked.
Even our neighbor who loved this country.
Even the other one who has two Ford cars.
And the other one who had diplomatic passport.
All left but not us.
No one responded to her,
but the shells did though,
Another window broke,
the kitchen is gone,
the small cradle of her child,
his Kids books,
and the little shoes.
She wasn’t saddened.
My child isn’t gone yet,
looking at her child,
feeling his hands,
They were cold,
his little feet were cold too,
he didn’t breathe…
There is something wrong with your son.
His body is so cold.
He doesn’t breathe.
She cried to her husband,
whose body was cold too!
She didn’t know how she lost them.
whether from the shells,
Or from the mercilessness.
I tried to get the best of me to eulogize you,
your past, present and what people are saying about you.
In addition to Arabic, I tried English and Spanish,
but I failed to find the appropriate words.
I am not being romantic or exaggerating,
to liken you to the moon or to the sun.
I am neither Romeo nor Juliet.
I am not an actor in Titanic,
or in a Walk to Remember.
But I am a Palestinian who adores his President.
I am a national that one day you fought for.
Mr. President, just years before you were forcibly gone,
you believed in peace before the gun.
“Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand,”
Was what you always said and talked about.
Whether on the ground or at the UN,
you were fighting for our rights.
For the Right of Return, and the refugees.
For Jerusalem and Hebron.
For Gaza, and Jericho.
You wanted our freedom and independence.
We almost got that and more,
before they weakened you politically and militarily.
They poisoned you and got rid of you.
You died but you aren’t forgotten.
Mr. President, maybe you wasn’t informed yet,
but we are way behind the world.
Due to occupation and division,
Due to conspiracies and hypocrisies.
It’s a bitter and painful truth.
It’s funny to tell you this, but,
our biggest dreams are salaries for the unpaid,
food for the hungry,
dresses for the poor,
rebuilding the destroyed houses,
few hours of electricity,
hundreds of thousands of jobs,
justice and equality,
a little more human rights.
and ultimate unity.
Could you see where we are now, Mr. President?
You will soon be told where else we reached to,
how we became and why,
how much we need you back,
because we need you back, Mr. President!
It was cold and snowy in late November.
Dad, could you please buy me this pie?
The well-dressed son asked his rich father wearing a necktie and a black suit.
Here you go, son! Do you wish to have something else?
Mmm yum oh! It’s delicious daddy. I want another one.
Both walked away with a white car and disappeared.
In front of the other pies in the bakery, stood a kid,
a poor one, with no father, no mother, and no bed.
His brother and sister waited for him in a tent,
full of big holes and fears.
He saw the rich son with the two pies,
holding his father’s hand, running happily,
before entering their car he never knew what its model was.
He smelled the sweetness of the pies,
but he never knew how they tasted.
He wished the rich son could give him the other pie,
so he could give his sister and brother a third for each,
and enjoy the third third.
But it was only a dream for him!
My sister and brother are waiting for me, he thought.
They want some sweets to sweeten their tongues and dreams.
They want a part from these delicious pies.
Mmm yum oh, he closed his eyes and sat in front of the bakery.
He fell asleep…
Wake up, my sweet friend, the rich son poked him!
I am sorry for being late.
I saw you in front of the bakery,
and I wanted to surprise you!
I was wrapping the second pie for you.
He surprised, cried, smiled, and then cried.
His sister and brother tasted the pie,
And slept in peace not caring about the holes in the tent.
To the Dead Sea you planned to go,
to play with its muddy shore and float on its salty water.
For a while, I was scared and worried, but I let you go.
That morning, I prayed to god to protect you and your friends.
My heart was not Ok… at all!
It suddenly started to beat so fast,
asking me to call you.
I was hesitant, but I called you.
Phone rang, you didn’t answer, my son.
“Maybe you were busy playing with the mud,” I thought.
“Maybe you were floating,” I believed!
Waiting for more minutes, my heart couldn’t stop beating.
I knew and realized something had happened to you!
On TV, I screamed seeing floods where you were.
I passed out seeing you, along with your friends,
Floating, being swept away by floodwaters.
I didn’t cry my son!
My tears couldn’t be shed.
My heart wept though.
And I was trembling,
before your body arrived.
It smelled musk,
and an indescribable scent.
You were smiling, and your hands were warm.
I felt you were alive, but with closed eyes,
an unbreathable heart,
and an unmovable body.
I bid you my final farewell.
Kissed you on the forehead.
You smiled to me and I had to smile back to you.
In a hurry, I let your father and brothers go bury you,
because angels were ready to welcom you,
opening their arms for you,
to dress you up wings so you can fly.
There, you will meet God.
You can tell him what happened with you,
and your friends… and the teachers.
You can tell him your story… and he will judge.