August 10, 2007

New Poem- written at conference-1st draft

TITLE: How it Used To Be: 1967

Years ago, before a wall was ever thought of--
when villages rewe reached and visited by Jews and Arabs,
and hate was not as palpable as today,
in the giddy days after emotional walls crumbled,
Jews visited Arab neighbors.
Most were welcomed with coffee, fruits and cakes;
not eating, would be offensive,
we has new sources for products and flow of goods--
unprecedented before. Relationships formed as times were different.

A young Arab and Young Israeli Sabra fell in love.
Impossible, you say? Not so. Happened many times then,
though still discouraged. The couples kept silent about the depth
of their involvemnets. Visitations were easy by open roads without
checkpoints. Those who saw and knew, said "Kif Allek" in Arabic,
or "lech leshalom" in Hebrew--wishing them luck or Godspeed--
not bullets, jeers or angry protestations.

They made love as couples do, went home
to families and lied as couples do. If it became serious,
families had to "fight it out" peacefully to satisfy the couple.
Of course in such families, everyone would never be satisfied.
Sometimes there were battles- where to live-Israeli town? Arab town?
or jointly populated area? Most chose places such as Haifa--large cities
with joint populations, or places near where there was work.

Yes, Israel--a difficult state who knows how to take even an easy problem and complicate it,
often to its collapse. Some left the countrey exasperated by not being able to satisfy all.
Trying to bring peoples together can be life-consuming.
But now it's a non-issue.
Too much hate.
Time hath brought out the worst in all of us--not healing,
not understanding, not compassion, but hate fueled by
suicide bombers and the building od concrete walls.
What we have done, will not easily be undone.
And life goes on
And couples get together
though danger increases
often one gets shot
for no reason at all
in the name of love.

Mikki Mendelsohn

1 comment:

michelle said...

how important to remind us that things weren't always the way they are now . . . and don't always have to stay that way.