Beautiful trauma


Gaza during Eid

"Hey," I said,
"Let's play a game
and describe life 
with one phrase."
He looks at me, 
laughs and says, 
"Beautiful trauma."

The trauma:
A cage in which a child
sells Kleenex for a a shekel
under a traffic sign.
Houses shrouded for hours
in the dark, only candles for light.
Sudden BOOMs of F16s and 
the constant low buzz of drones.
Interminable waits at crossings,
only to be told at the end of the day
to go home; no travel for you today.

Yet every trauma heals,
he says, allowing traces of beauty:
The festive atmosphere of Eid
in the streets.
The sound of takabeer,
the smell of kenafa and kaak*.
The smile of a child,
gifted with new clothes
for this special holiday.


*Takabeer is the call to prayer during the Muslim holiday of Eid. Kenafa and kaak are festive desserts.

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Mentor: Pam Bailey

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