- The News
We are all gathered round the television.True citizens of our country, we awaitthe news broadcast:a new supermarket chain,that slightly overblown blonde- what's her name? - who will behosting the new talk show,the domino collapse ofhigh-tech companies in the wake ofthe economic crisis.We are ready to be shocked, delighted,intrigued.The news comes on:a new supermarket infrastructure, the blondecelebrity, (do you think her show will be worth watching ?)that high-tech company collapsing –what a shame! They showed such promise. [End Page 114] Then an interruption on the screen.The ground offensive in Gazahas begun.
Now we see a lurid night-vision pictureof troops trudging across the border,helmets slightly askew, thick boots,the shadow of guns, a blossomof flares.Smoke blooms across the screen.All this is shownin silence; commentary has cometo a halt, the music seems to havefaded to a standstill.In my mouth, a bloom of bloodfrom bitten lips, a flinchingof muscle. I am makinga fist of my hand.Shamefaced, I flex my fingers,loosen them from the empty shapeof a weapon, feel the heavinessof sleep and the lack of sleep,the deathly fatigueof soldiers and mothers.
Tonight we will watch the news till late.
And tomorrowthe supermarket will go up as promised,the blonde will make a name for herself,the redundant high-tech crew will go outlooking for work,and we will peer into the empty cornflake packet,wondering who finished the cereal. [End Page 115]
Lyn Barzilai is a Scot living in Israel, married with children. She received her Ph.D from Haifa University and teaches English literature at Haifa University and at college. Her poetry appears online in The Muse Apprentice Guild and EnterText, and in print in the Runes: Connections Anthology and in Vol. 13 of Bridges: A Jewish Feminist Journal, as well as in the upcoming anthology of Boxcar Poetry. She has published a book on George Oppen, and an article on Rita Dove in Callaloo.