Summer in Gaza – A Poem

By Uzma Falak

We are left to count again
dead eyes harboring a dream,
burnt throats on the brink of a an anthem
charred olives,
faithful lips and fingers—
Seraj- 8, Bassim-10,
Moussa-16, Muhammed Khalaf- 4
Malikiyeh, 1 ½ years old—
Hamdan’s son, Ibrahim
Ghafour’s daughter Ranim
Ranim means a chant.
Bassim means a smile.
We count again our
bombed homes,
skies, hours, prayers,
promises, flags,
trinkets, morsels, wait.
We lose count again of your
airstrikes, mortars, missiles
DIME bombs.
We count again our dreams,
olives, flowers,
clenched fists, our feet marching.
We give birth to your destruction
every time we make love—
you count.

(A poem written after Israel’s airstrikes over Gaza in July, 2014)

- Uzma Falak wrote narratives and essays from Kashmir for London-based New Internationalist, The Caravan, Kathmandu’s Himal Southasian, Of Occupation and Resistance: Writings From Kashmir (Westland and Tranquebar Press, 2013), besides others. The author’s poetry was featured in, ‘What the Jaguar Knows, We Cannot Know’ (Ink Publications), ‘Cultural Anthropology’ (Duke University), ‘Cerebration’ (Drew University) and has been anthologized in ‘Poetry is an Occupation’( Kindle Magazine). This poem was contributed to


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