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

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

I Dream of Soaring

Haneen Hussam Zaqqout | 18-03-2019

I wrote this poem a year ago, when we in Gaza first heard about the Great Return March but it had not yet launched. The news of the protest by the border set me to fantasizing about flying beyond the Israeli blockade. That night, I dreamt of soaring over Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock—which all Gazans long to see.

She draws her legs up to her torso,
folding her arms in an embrace.
Turning to fantasies of romance,
she tries to sleep.
But burning stars behind the bars
holds her wistful eyes.
She dreams of being a goldfinch,
not a fragile damsel in a fantasy.
In her dream she soars beyond the border,
where her feet could never reach.

She flies closer to the land, her land.
Her goal is to reach the horizon,
the silver lining in the sun rising,
beyond the clouds that never sink.

A whisper invades her dream:
"Why would the soldiers fire at me
if I crossed the boundary?"
She refuses to confront
the reality in her thoughts.
The soldiers don't exist.
The statistics don't exist.

She can think only about the sunlight
flashing against the empty fields,
casting the shadow of her wings
upon the golden dome of her mosque,
gleaming from her wheat fields,
glimmering from her olive trees.

She can think whatever she wants,
She can make boundaries disappear.
She can make giant waves
swallow the occupier’s ships.
She can make this all disappear
in the dim blue light of her room—
the last reflections of war on her walls,
the collection of broken frames,
the tears shed from teargas,
the borders, the occupation.

The dream sweeps her up in the arms of hope
and dips her wings in the colors of life and love.

Posted: March 17, 2019

Mentor: Kevin Hadduck

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