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Waging Peace

Sarah Zale: Mornings in Beit Jala

A bird strikes the glass where we sit, gazing,

then lies aground as the cat at the window glares.


The dog’s in the yard near and we run, our hands

cupped, as if we believe what we touch we can heal.


Do we cry for the bird or a memory

of our own bent wings?


The pain of a place or event slips into a crowd—

drifts, rises, reaches its peak on different breaths—

waits, and breaks of its own weight.


Abu George sits at the window of his home, his hotel,

staring out at the wall that killed his father, took

his land, broke his business.


He of rich brew, the qahwa in his cup, breathes

deeply, smiles. Each morning, he says, I awaken

and laugh to begin my day. What good does it do

to be sad?  To be angry?


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