- 7th August 2006
I am in the mall buying boxers for my son when the siren goes off. The carousel with the painted horses is still going round and round while mothers scramble to pull their children down. The children cry, they don’t want to leave the horses. We all push into the shelter behind the concrete wall that backs the shop-fronts. Two shop-girls light up cigarettes and turn the radio on: twelve soldiers dead in Kfar Gila’adi. When the all-clear sounds we all push out again and gather round the TV at the workers’ café. On the screen the smoke clears [End Page 79] and we can see the row of empty boots along the wall.
In the evening the missiles hit Poets’ Lane, the little alley crooked now and smoking on the TV screen. Arabs and Jews together scrabble in the rubble at bits of clothing and protruding limbs. Beside them on a wall the plaques to Habibi and Darwish remain intact.
Further north on the other side of the border an old man stumbles over the rubble of what was once his house. His eyes look out from behind a vacant screen. He drags behind him a torn paper bag with one frayed shoelace and a battered pair of dusty shoes. [End Page 80]
Lyn Graham Barzilai “I am a Scot living in Israel since 1975, married with children. I received my Ph.D from Haifa University, where I teach English literature, as well as creative writing at college. My poetry appears online in Boxcar Poetry Review and Entertext, and in the poetry anthology Runes. I have published a book on the Jewish-American poet George Oppen, and an article on Rita Dove (also in Entertext). I strongly believe in the power of poetry to further social and political awareness.”