What Still Stands

Guest contribution by Hasheemah H. Afaneh

Drawn onto that wall
That stretches miles and miles,
Dividing one olive tree from the next
To no end… for no end,
A message calling for the ending
Of the 67-year-old presence that lingers
On what still stands.

Imprinted in the streets,
Tracks of your trucks and
Oil stains of your tanks,
Trying to leave a mark in place
Of what still stands.

Painted on the roads,
You aim to divide
Our streets from your streets,
Our homes from your settlements,
Our homes from our homes;
Homes that still stand.

Planted like a statue,
Your watchtowers hover
In day and in darkness,
Wanting to show no mercy
Upon those that still stand.

Sketched onto the canvas,
Four numbers echo
Despite the continuous echoing.
One. Nine. Four. Eight.
Four numbers echo
In memory of the villages and people
That once stood.

Stolen was a door to a home, now
Replaced by your 67-year-old presence.
A new lock,
A colonizing key,
In place of the key that still dangles
From key chains with despaired anticipation.

Carved onto the land,
Mountains of your forgery
In place of mountains of nature.
Flags conflicting.
Tombstones added with those
Buried too quickly.

Between the Dead Sea and a Bedouin tent,
Lies an old military base of yours.
Empty.
Empty.
Your 67-year-old presence was anything
But empty.

Stapled on the city lamp posts,
An invitation of 67 seconds of silence,
Now.
While we still stand.

Hasheemah H. Afaneh is a student at Birzeit University (BZU) studying nutrition and dietetics. Between time spent on her studies and that spent with family and friends, she makes time to write about her observations. You can find snippets of writing on her blog, No Restrictions on Words.

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