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Naila Farouky: I Will Not Call For Death (Poem)


I will not call for death.



I will not dare to speak the words that call for the death of the “other"



I will not seek to avenge through death, the sister, the mother, the father or brother



I will not cry “If you kill us, then we are right to kill!” and then question, in anguish, “where has our humanity gone?”


I will not call for death.

You ask me to justify how I can stand for my enemy; I will reply only to say “I know no enemy”

I know war and pain
Fear and injustice
I know blood and tears
Corruption and failed armistice

I see bodies, bloodied and strewn about
I see them; I know and I hear you – out loud
I see mothers wailing for the loss of their children
I see children grasping the air in search of the comforting arms of their slain mothers
I see fathers burying their babes in white cloths
I see wandering children with the look of despair in their eyes at sights they will never forget

I hear of sirens unheeded 
For to heed them means you have some place to hide
I hear tales of the warnings that come in the night
The warnings that parents must decide to ignore
For to obey them must mean you have somewhere to go

I will not call for death.

“But they want you to die; they demand it, can’t you see?”
“You’re a traitor, a coward, how can this be?”
I see it, I know, do you think me so blind?
I hear it, I fear it, but where do I hide?

As the world sits in wait, to watch and to plead
Those I cherish and love have no choice but to bleed
Our humanity challenged, I offer you this:
You will find it within you, this is where it exists
It is not to be found in the barrel of a gun
Or a bomb, or a funeral, a surah or a psalm
It is in your heart and your head and your womb
In your words and your dreams and the threads that you loom
In your hopes for your children and that they shall not hate
For those hopes and those dreams are their future and fate

So abandon the sirens, the bombs and your might
Hold your hands to the heavens and scream in the night
Beg for mercy, for respite, for heart and for will
But do not fall so low as to go for the kill

And repeat to yourself, for as long as it takes

I will not call for death, no matter how much it aches

I will not.

 
Naila Farouky a very talented Palestinian-Egyptian Peabody Award winner.

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