once they started invading us.
taking our houses and trees, drawing lines,
pushing us into tiny places.
it wasn’t a bargain or deal or even a real war.
to this day they pretend it was.
but it was something else.
we were sorry what happened to them but
we had nothing to do with it.
you don’t think what a little plot of land means
till someone takes it and you can’t go back.
your feet still want to walk there.
now you are drifting worse
than homeless dust, very lost feeling.
i cried even to think of our hallway,
cool stone passage inside the door.
nothing would fit for years.
they came with guns, uniforms, declarations.
life magazine said,
“it was surprising to find some arabs still in their houses.”
surprising? where else would we be?
up in the hillsides?
conversing with mint and sheep, digging in dirt?
why was someone else’s need for a home
greater than our own need for our own homes
we were already living in? no one has ever been able
to explain this sufficiently. but they find
a lot of other things to talk about.