Eye to eye, a Palestinian poem
Look into my eyes
And tell me what you see.
You don't see a damn thing,
Because you can't possibly relate to me.
Blinded by our differences
My life makes no sense to you.
I'm the persecuted Palestinian.
You're the Red, White and Blue.
Each day you wake in tranquility,
No fears to cross your eyes.
Each day I wake in gratitude,
Thanking God He let me rise.
You worry about your education
And the bills you have to pay.
I worry about my vulnerable life
And if I'll survive another day.
Your biggest fear is getting that ticket
As you cruise your Cadillac.
My fear is the tank that left
Will turn around to come back.
Do you realise
The tax you pay
Fuels the trauma
Of my every living day?
Bulldozers and tanks,
Gases and guns,
Bombs that fall outside my door,
Are due to US funds.
Do you know the truth
Of where your money goes?
Media deceiving you˙
The truth that no one knows.
You blame me for rejecting
Terrorised in my own land
And I'm the terrorist?
You think you know all about terrorism
But you don't know it the way I do,
So let me define the term for you,
And teach you what you thought you knew.
I've known terror for quite some time,
Fifty-five years and more.
It's the fruitless garden uprooted in my yard.
It's the bulldozer outside my door.
Terrorism breathes the air I breathe.
It's the checkpoint on my way to school.
It's the curfew that jails me in my home,
And the penalties of breaking the curfew rule.
Terrorism is the robbery of my land,
And the torture of my mother,
The imprisonment of my father,
The bullet in my baby brother.
So, don't tell me you know about
The things I feel and see.
I'm terrorised in my own land
And the blame is put on me.
But I will not rest, I shall never settle
For the injustice my people endure.
Palestine is our land and there we'll remain
Until the day our homeland is secure.
If that day shall never come,
Never will we see a day of peace.
I will not be thrown from my own home,
Nor will my fight for justice cease.
And if I'm killed, it will be in Falasteen.
It's written on my every breath.
So in your own patriotic words,
Give me liberty or give me death.
By Gihad Ali
From Green Left Weekly, October 13, 2004.
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