In These Trying Times

On Gaza — 8-19-05
by Farrah Fidler
I hate the fact that I don’t have the courage
to pick up and leave for Israel right now
That I don’t know what I would do if my back was against the wall,
Would I have the guts to be one of those people in Gaza
shouting tefilah and refusing to leave on my own will?
Or would I be rational, knowing that no matter what
I would be out anyway, so why not leave peacefully and on my own terms
I hate that the Israel I know inside of me is only a minor piece
The Mizrachi music that is the beat of my heart
Moving me forward, guiding my hips as I walk
Israel, I know not of your settlements, your bulletproof cars
ensuring safety in unsure lands in unsure times
I know little of your holiest of holies, barely able
to muster up some feeling of a presence far greater than I will ever know.
But I know of the beauty of your land
Hikes in the North on trails I will never remember the names of
Gardens my photos do no justice
Deserts I dream to camp
Beaches I grow tired from the overpowering heat and sink into the sand
Seas with waves I have grown to love
People who are like family upon first site
Israel, this is the you I know and internalize and love
sometimes more than my own life
You gave birth to my father, indirectly giving birth to me
Israel, I am so desperate sometimes for the caress of your sun on my skin
Israel, I am so desperate inside for your warm embrace
like a mother who dies, I fear I will never be able to touch you again if not now
Israel, my longing for you grows with each passing day
I am but a grain of sand longing to be washed on your shores
This is the Israel that I know
Warm, inviting, welcoming, impolite, brash, struggling, vulgar, strong,
more beautiful than I will ever be
Israel, if you were a woman all eyes would be on you,
people gasping with every step you take
I am but a mere American in awe of you
In awe of your people
In awe of the strength I wish I possessed
so that I could one day be a part of you
And even this
Even my words
Even if I exhausted every way to express how I feel about you
It would not be enough
Like me sitting here at my desk
Writing till my hands grow numb
It can never be enough until I finally wash up upon your shores
And wait to be welcomed by your warmth
I will compose poems in your mother tongue and wait for your mother embrace

6 thoughts on “In These Trying Times

  1. Sorry to ask this here, but I was wondering if anyone can convert to the faith and become a citizen of Israel. Like, become Jewish and then settle in some guy’s backyard. Is that allowed?

  2. Um, am I the only one here that thinks that really decent sentiment has been packaged into a really bad poem? Mobius, I know you’ve got better stuff for us than this.

  3. If you convert to judaism, the Law Of Return is still “active”. That means that you can move to Israel “in a jewish sense”.

  4. I think ppl (Josh) should not be so negative and realize the emotion in the poem…just like a human being ..to want to put another person down…that’s why we have the problems we have today…

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