When I Grow Older – A Gaza Poem

POETRY FORMAT, 1 Jan 2024

Ramzy Baroud | Politics for the People – TRANSCEND Media Service

(Image: Palestine Chronicle)

25 Dec 2023 – To Gaza’s little angels – in heaven, and here on earth.

My name is Omar. I am 5.
Today I washed the blood of my father off the sidewalk.
He was shot in front of our home.
My mom said I did a good job.
She hugged me and cried for far too long.
Her tears were salty like the Gaza Sea.
My brother and sister are still missing under the rubble.
My mom keeps telling me to place my ear on the blocks of shattered concrete and listen carefully.
Maybe they are still alive.
Maybe they need company.
She sings them lullabies to go to sleep.
I always sing along.

It has been many days since they were gone.
I didn’t die because I stood in a long line to fetch some water.
There was none.
But mom said ‘Alhamdulilah’ that I am still alive.
She called me a miracle.
She said I am all that she has left.

I told her that someday we would get a big bulldozer, would save my brother and sister, and rebuild the house.
.. And grow a garden, with trees so big they’ll reach the heavens.
But tonight, we will sleep in a tent.
I keep dreaming of three angels.
They hover around me and sing me songs.
I jump and dance, but only in my sleep.
When I grow older, I will protect my mother from the angry men with guns.
When I grow older, I will have a son and give him my father’s name.
When I grow older, I will remove the big rocks smothering my brother and my sister.
When I grow older, I will never forget.
I will never forget.

I will never forget.

___________________________________________

Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and editor of Palestine Chronicle. He has a Ph.D. in Palestine Studies from the University of Exeter and has been writing about the Middle East for over 20 years. Baroud is a Non-Resident Scholar at Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, University of California Santa Barbara. His books include Searching Jenin, The Second Palestinian Intifada, and My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story. His latest book is The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story (Pluto Press, London, 2018). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net.

Go to Original – ramzybaroud.net

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