World Without Hate, Amein.
My oldest granddaughter turned 12 today.
I’m grateful for her life each day,
That I can watch her and her sisters smile,
And know, that all the while, so many other
Children of us all are gone.
Like the Ishkontana children,
Ages 9, 5, 4 and 2
Wearing bright new clothes and shoes,
Smiling, while their uncle snapped photos on his phone.
When he stepped out to buy them treats,
Their Gaza home was bombed into the streets,
With all the Ishkontana children and their mother,
Dressed in their Ramadan best,
Scattered, as dust in the wind.
I live to hear my granddaughters laugh,
And marvel at how well they swim,
And flip and dive,
So thankful they are still alive,
While worlds away, 69 children die,
For being plunged in hate’s way.
Like Ido Avigal, Age 5, A Jew,
Who told his classmates
“Arabs are not all bad,”
And before he was old enough to work for peace,
Took shrapnel in his stomach. Deceased.
Like Rafeef Abu Dayer, age 10,
Who drew a bombed out Gaza building she could not unsee,
And, hearing her mother’s call for a garden lunch and tea,
Put her artwork aside to color later. Which would never be.
I kiss my granddaughters, Ages 12, almost 10 and 5,
And know that despite fires, and COVID, guns and drought,
They are blessed to be able to go out,
And run and play and shout screams of joy to be alive.
Not terror, as a child psychologist told the NY Times:
“Of the ones who survive; those pulled out of the rubble,
And lost a limb, or those who will go to school,
And see which friend is missing.”
My oldest granddaughter turned 12 today,
And all I want for her,
For the inhumanity of this world to go away.