Normalization is not peace

Gazing through your door
from behind my bars,
I see my home you stole,
with another family living inside.

My blood is still on your hands,
although you worked hard
to cover my footprints
and sweep away the
ashes of my life.
The ugly scar of your crime
is there for anyone who looks.

You say you want a peace agreement,
your smile stiff as if pasted on.
But the stain on your hands
cannot be hidden.

A so-called friend enters my home,
an Arab who wears a keffiyeh
but kisses your hand.
This is for your sake, he says.
I will advocate for you from the inside.
But then I see that the stain
has spread to his hands too,
although he sticks them in his pockets.
I look him in the eyes and ask,
How will normalizing
what is not normal help me?

Since when is occupation normal?
How that will that solve anything,
when the occupation is the problem?

I want peace too.
But you ask me to disarm,
while you still hold a gun
and point it at my face.
At the same moment that
you’re talking fast,
a Palestinian girl cries
as your bulldozer destroys her home.
A young man from Gaza
is turned back at the border,
unable to fulfill his dream.
Goods made by my people’s hands
are denied the markets
that could earn their makers’ a profit.

Real peace is not possible
as long the blood remains.
It can only be washed away
by the cleansing power of justice.


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Mentor: Pam Bailey

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