My Brother Lives on the Other Side
“An anguished relative carried the body of Suhaib Hijazi, a 2 year old… I stood in the crowd watching, clearly a foreigner and pretty obviously an American, yet no one stopped to say to me, Why? Why… are your people supporting this atrocity? No one raised a fist in my face, or pointed an accusing finger in my direction…”
– Steve Sosebee (Palestine Children’s Relief Fund),
an American in Gaza, 21 November 2012
It takes time to wrap a child,
the nurse tells me, not knowing
how many times I may have practiced
with something that didn’t squirm
and made so much noise.
She stands waiting with me,
lengths of bleached fabric
in her wrinkled hands.
The doctor nods, I come
closer. He holds before my eyes
the first of my twin daughters
to come out of the calm
darkness of their mother’s flesh.
He counts each finger and each toe,
making sure I see them intact,
not severed by accident
as he cut into my wife’s skin.
I only see gray, white,
and red, including this child
who must be made to cry.
Her sister follows, barely
larger than my hand. It is pure
luck that they are born
here, protected by these
sterile walls. Safe.