Poetry Corner: Rafah’s Children by Samih al-Qasim

Rafah’s Children by Samih al-Qasim, 1971

Samih al-Qasim, 1939 – 2014

To the one who digs his path through the wounds of millions
To he whose tanks crush all the roses in the garden
Who breaks windows in the night
Who sets fire to a garden and museum and sings of freedom.
Who stomps on songbirds in the public square.
Whose planes drop bombs on childhood’s dream.
Who smashes rainbows in the sky.

Tonight, the children of the impossible roots have an announcement for you,
Tonight, the children of Rafah say:
“We have never woven hair braids into coverlets.
We have never spat on corpses, nor yanked their gold teeth.
So why do you take our jewellery and give us bombs?
Why do you prepare orphanhood for Arab children?
Thank you, a thousand times over!
Our sadness has now grown up and become a man.
And now, we must fight.”

Samih al-Qasim

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