Wednesday, July 23, 2014

That child in Gaza...

You can see smoke rising from the world around you. From buildings. From roads. From schools. Your playground. From the bodies of your best friends. Best friends who held your hand two weeks ago. Best friends who sang along with you, who laughed along with you.

Your dolls have been left behind in your house as your parents bundled your whole life into a few blankets and forced you to leave your home behind. You don't understand why your strong father seems to look so small and broken these days. Your mother hasn't stopped crying in 10 days. You haven't seen your sister in a while. She is nowhere to be found. Is she playing hide and seek with you? Every time you ask your mother where you sister is, your mother starts weeping all over again.

Nothing seems to make sense anymore. Who are those funny men in funny hats who walk around with plastic guns? They point and shoot at someone and they die. What do they want? Why do they point at people and kill them? What are these noises? These bangs and explosions that follow you through the night? The noises that make your parents huddle together in fear?

You saw the TV the other day. A pretty woman with golden hair was talking to an old man. You didn't understand what they were saying but you pick up one word - war. You turn to your father.

"What is war papa?"

"This is not war. This is murder. They are driving us out of our homes. They are killing us. They are destroying us and they call it war. This is not war."

"But who started it? Did I? Did I do something wrong?"

"You didn't start any war. Long before any of us even lived, old men decided they would fight over land and dust. They decided that people's lives was worth nothing to them. They decided to make weapons to extinguish humanity. Long before you were even born, these men decided that they would kill you."

Your father starts to cry. You hug him. You don't understand what he's trying to tell you.

He suddenly sits up pushing you accidentally to the floor. He tells you to grab your mother. It's time to go, he says. They're coming.

He scoops you up and runs over to your mother. It's time to go, he says. They're here.

The explosions begin again. You see the funny men in funny hats. They are pointing at people.

It's time to go, your father says. They're here.

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