Poem of the Month, November 2011Posted: 2011/10/31
ARAB ISRAELI STUDENT ON T.V.
By Ada Aharoni
You ponder hard in front of hesitating microphone,
Your eyebrows arch puzzlement over the screen.
Nuances of troubled expression on your handsome Semitic face,
Crack and recrack every query in the air:
“Do I really feel at home here?
And if I do, do they feel I feel at home here,
Am at home here?
Do I feel an Israeli Arab? Or an Arab Israeli?
Or a Palestinian? Or all of these? (Or none of these?)”
Suddenly the answer blurts out like a raven in flight
Escaping its dark cage: “I have no identity!”
The raven flies straight into my eyes with claws and beak.
And I remember my own rootless wound
In Egypt land – And I hurt your dangling hurt,
My Semitic cousin in pain.
The questions stir Nile and Jordan visions
Flowing intense churning –
“And if a Palestinian State is founded
Would you go and live there?
Would you feel better?”
Again the puckered brows locked,
Strained jaw-muscles, glowing sorrowful eyes.
Then gently, like a dove swooping
On its way to peaceful green woods:
“My home is in Galilee. But I would feel better
if there were a Palestinian State,
For then my Arab brothers would not fight
The land I live in –