Poem: Bombs Do Not Discriminate

14 July, 2021
Buildings lie in ruins in Gaza City, following an Israeli air strike in May 2021 (photo Mohamed Hinnawi/UNRWA).

Abdallah Salha

Each bomb, you feel it three times:
Once borne,
whistling through the skies
and as it steals the born.

As you hear it, you get the chills
tears… heart race.
You cling to something,

As if you’ve never heard
something like it before.

It gets to where it gets
does its thing
stealing the born
and shaking balance and thoughts.

Does not discriminate
embraces whatever is in the way.

Theoretically, moral.
But in practice
don’t we always argue where
moral compasses originate?

Everyone is watching in awe
Others shouting,
or chanting — so to feel strong from within.
As selfish as you want
to be for your own,
you still think of others
their grief

They evidently had
happiness to pursue
liberty to claim
life to preserve
andروح that now
have left this world.

We are bystanders
performatively objective
in awe.

It’s your turn!
A drone strike may warn
Or may not…
It didn’t warn many before you.
Ninety seconds
and counting…

Fair or unfair? Not my dilemma.

Enough time to pack?
My phone, passport,
my childhood photo album?
oh I’ve been craving those cookies
in the drawer too.

Everything feels so precious
to leave behind.

“We’re not the ones being hit”
I watched them say
in denial
as they evacuated.
“Flatten it,” warmongers said

Will there be an appetite
for the drawer cookies
somewhere under that rubble.
Lying like a hidden secret
of happiness
of memories
of love…
of Home.

Gaza, Palestine May 2021

Abdallah Salha, a Palestinian, is stuck in blockaded Gaza as he looks forward to starting college in the US in fall 2021 after finishing high school in Norway and spending two gap years first in Senegal and then in Gaza.

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