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Poem by Palestinian Poet

March 11, 2024

Toward the end of my two-week stay in the land of sickness, I read this poem by the Palestinian poet Refaat Alareer, who was killed in Gaza by an IDF airstrike on December 6, 2023 along with his brother, nephew, sister, and three of her children. My sickness turned to rage–Edward Curtin

If I Must Die

If I must die,
you must live
to tell my story
to sell my things
to buy a piece of cloth
and some strings,
(make it white with a long tail)
so that a child, somewhere in Gaza
while looking heaven in the eye
awaiting his dad who left in a blaze —
and bid no one farewell
not even to his flesh
not even to himself —
sees the kite, my kite you made, flying up above,
and thinks for a moment an angel is there
bringing back love.
If I must die
let it bring hope,
let it be a story.

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