Palestinian youth tell the human stories behind the numbers in the news

Palestinian youth tell the human stories behind the numbers in the news

Different shades of 'lockdown'

Riwaa Abuquta | 20-04-2020

Lockdown has different shades:
We young spend our days
searching for jobs,
pushing at this door and that,
leaving our phone numbers
here and there,
as if we are scattering them in a desert.

Suddenly, I hear a voice:
"Would you loan us your services
for a trial?”

Of course! I answer,
the offer coming like a lifeline.
The drowning always clutch at straws.

I sign the contract
and begin counting the days
like someone on death row.
I ponder…
my career, my office, my skills,
my workmates, my special routines—
my own special world!  
—and draw a wage for days
that pass like minutes.

Out of the blue, that voice again:
We have to let you go; you must leave.
I look at my desk, my workmates,
my calendar,
I close my office door behind me
as I leave for home.

I pace in a circle,
trying to pull myself together,
trying to start over,
trying to find another tiny oasis in the desert.
Blundering, staggering, down in the dumps,
contemplating how my life has shut down.
Every day blends into every other day.  

I stare at my laptop screen.
Melancholy and boredom wash over me,
as every message blends into every other message.
We are mighty people, though,
and desperation is the mother of invention.
Think deeply! Think! Just keep thinking.
It's time to create, so make it memorable,
whatever it is…

Posted: April 19, 2020

Mentor: Kevin Hadduck

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