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

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

The scars of war

Malak Hijazi | 25-07-2020

Photo by Malak Hijazi

I know what war trauma means.
Yesterday, I closed the windows.
I asked God to keep me alive for another day.
I didn't need a crystal ball to know
this would keep happening
again and again.

There is always so much pain,
whirring continuously
beneath the membrane
of my life.

But I want to get used to pain.
I want to be familiar with the agony,
to conquer the news
like Beauty taming the Beast.

Can I imagine the sound of drones
as the music of Beethoven?
Maybe then it wouldn’t terrorize me.
I wonder, is my fear lying to me?
If there's only darkness in my room,
could I somehow erase the approaching
red light of shells from my memory?

If I take the battery out of the ticking clock,
will it quit taunting me?
Will it stop reminding me of the Israeli officer
saying to us on the phone in broken Arabic:
You have only a three-hour ceasefire
 to replenish supplies.

I want to accept the reality around me,
To try and pretend to enjoy the moment.
Everything is okay, I convince myself.
I shut my eyes and imagine a stable world
where I am a dancing flower,
where all my dreams are achievable
and mothers don't cry,
children don't die.

In my world, everyone has a safe place
they can call home.
It is my escape
when the real world doesn't accept me.

Suddenly I hear and feel a crashing sound
and my dream world collapses.
A sea of tears wells from my eyes.
I turn to face the source
of this terrifying noise
and realize
it is only the door
slamming
shut.

 

Posted: July 25, 2020

Mentor: Zeina Azzam


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