Sunday, April 17, 2011

Naomi Shihab Nye: For Mohammed Zeid of Gaza aged 15

photo courtesy of Fatima Poems









For Mohammed Zeid of Gaza, Age 15
Naomi Shihab Nye* 
There is no stray bullet, sirs.
No bullet like a worried cat
crouching under a bush,
no half-hairless puppy bullet
dodging midnight streets.
The bullet could not be a pecan
plunking the tin roof,
not hardly, no fluff of pollen
on October's breath,
no humble pebble at our feet.


So don't gentle it, please.

We live among stray thoughts,
tasks abandoned midstream.
Our fickle hearts are fat
with stray devotions, we feel at home
among bits and pieces,
all the wandering ways of words. 


But this bullet had no innocence, did not
wish anyone well, you can't tell us otherwise
by naming it mildly, this bullet was never the friend
of life, should not be granted immunity
by soft saying—friendly fire, straying death-eye,
why have we given the wrong weight to what we do?


Mohammed, Mohammed, deserves the truth.
This bullet had no secret happy hopes,
it was not singing to itself with eyes closed
under the bridge.
 *Naomi Shihab Nye is a US poet  and writer of Palestinian and American heritage who lives in Texas. Her poems have featured on this blog before.

1 comment:

Breenus said...

Superb elegy. Why should such deaths be sullied by the slur of scum spin instead of an honorable catafalque?
Phrases like 'friendly fire' add to the death involved by further deadening of all our consciousness.