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Jerusalem

If this city were a woman,

She must have earned a bad name by now.

For the number of swords unsheathed,

For the cauldrons of blood beaded,

For the haunting silence that rings in wombs,

For the innocent childhoods weeded,

 

But no!

This is a city, and a holy one!

Holy for whom? The ones who heap

Ungodliness on it.

 

O children of Abraham,

You are not pagans or witches,

You must remember very sharply,

That the shedding of blood cleanses nothing,

And nothing  will cleanse your shedding of blood.

 

Man remembers the promises of God,

But very casually forgets

The promise God took from him.

 

(First published in an Palestinian-Jewish anthology by the Lost Horse Press, Idaho)

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