With her back turned away from the city,
She faces the sea, the soft roar of waves,
soothing her, pushing her away from reality.
Affliction seeps in like poison.
Winds off the sea assail her,
bearing her grief and relentless questions—
Where is the child?
Why are a mother’s arms empty?
“Should I swim far out, empty my veins in the sea?”
She has seen vibrant youth
dragged down and drowned in darkness.
Behind her, dark forms wander alleys and streets,
carrying their shadows even in daylight.
Among the cars and market tables,
mothers grieve their murdered children,
their gravestones, the rubble of fallen homes.
She runs, pushing those images aside.
Step by step, her feet drive into the sand,
her body driven with the breeze.
Her eyes chase the blue of the sky
to where it melts into the sea.
Her steps fall faster and faster toward the sea.
She is drowning, falling into a darkness
of water and of soul. She resists,
breathes again for a moment and calls out,
then lets the greater forces flow.
When she is gone, something stronger,
something called Israel, continues,
while other voices drown and drown.