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

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

Let hope fly like a bird

Basman Derawi | 31-12-2020

Art by Mohammad Nasrallah

I always spend
New Year's Eve
in my home, in my Gaza.
I let my wishes go,
flying to the horizon
beyond the fence
to soar free like birds.

But for Palestinians
hunger striking in Israeli prisons
bidding for their basic rights;
for American Blacks,
incarcerated and forced into solitary
by COVID-19;
for activists like Loujain al-Hathloul,
sentenced for speaking out for women,
it’s just another day, just another night,
cold and lonely.
Hope can leave you bleeding 
as much as hopelessness.

But another friend is just released
from prison.
He will spend this night “free,” like me.
(Freedom is relative.)
Our existence is a
middle finger in the
face of hopelessness.

I will spend my New Year’s eve
in my home,
forced inside by COVID,
but still warm, with family--
like most of the world.
But let’s keep in a place in our hearts
for all our brothers and sisters in prisons,
whatever type that may be.

Let’s imagine a world without prisons,
let’s dance a dance with hope,
whispering, Don’t step on my feet.

Posted: December 31, 2020

Mentor: Pam Bailey


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