man's face wtih flowers
man's face wtih flowers
Artwork by Arij Alsoufi

Standing still

Head above the hill

Snipers are there to kill

Ali intends to get closer

To the fence

Not knowing

Catching his death

Can happen

400 meters away


On his neck

Blood running a river

He feels dizzy

His vision fades away

To ghostly scenes in the air

Bright-lightening is his face

Dark-space are the surroundings

He smiles

It’s all gone


He imagines his mum

Can he rewind

Lean in another direction

To dodge the bullet?

It’s all gone


If he didn’t catch death

The way he catches the ball

In a street football match

If he failed to catch

He would have won

The life match

Bridged the grief patch

In his mothers shattered heart

But it is all goneThe land embraces

The falling body

Absorbs his tender blood

Witnesses his soul

Ascending towards

The smoke-filled sky

Whispers, “Sleep, now.

An F-16 won’t wake you

This time.”


“Ali!” shouts the crowd

The horizon echoes his name.


Note: This poem is an ode to the author’s cousin, Ali Mohammed Khfaja, who was murdered during the Great March of Return on May 14, 2018.

Category: Poems Tags: , , Comments: 0

Mentor: Sarah Jacobus

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