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

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

Basman Derawi | 20-12-2018

I recently read this news item online: Three-year-old Palestinian Mohamed Wahba was pronounced dead in Tripoli, in the north of Lebanon, after he was denied admission into a local hospital. Local sources said the hospital refused to admit Mohamed after his family, who live in th nearby Nahr al-Bared refugee camp, could not pay the treatment fees. And then I wrote this poem. 

He comes to me
in my mind: the world,
smelling like the earth,
eye to eye.
Yet the earth is full
of blood and tears.
He looks at me
with an irritating smile.
I close my eyes.

I ask him why he let me
slide so peacefully into the world
from my mother’s womb.
He gave me no purpose
to guide my life.
I cover my ears,
Not wanting to hear the why
Knocking at my mind.

I run from my life.
My own blood
is on my hands.
I am crying.
He holds me.
He kisses me, hard.

I am not in love
with his world
or his rules.
I ask him, "Why?"

I hear a whisper.
I turn around
and see the image
of a child killed.
I ask him, "Why?"
He remains silent.
We stare at each other,
eye to eye.
I cry on his shoulder,
but he has no answers.

Posted: December 20, 2018

Mentor: Kevin Hadduck


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