I didn’t know
I didn’t know that you can make walls or a roof
Out of the sacks the World Food Program flour comes in
If you sew them together
And I didn’t know that fresh sheep milk boiled with sugar
Is like drinking pure bliss
after a night sleeping out
In the tent village
And I didn’t know that you offer
To the angels upon each of your shoulders
When you bow down to pray
And I didn’t know that a school uniform gives a child
A way to put on dignity and put off
The dust of the dirt floor
and the wet
From the leaking roof
and the smoke
from the scrap wood fire
the only warmth in her home
Or that when someone makes one cheese toast for supper
on top of the electric space heater
He gives half of it away to a stranger
Or that a thirsty man you meet on the street
might ask you for a drink from your water bottle
And think it was the most normal thing to do
And the holiness of everyday mangos and
The abundance of pomegranates shared between friends
A kind of Communion.
Our common humanity became visible here
Became naked here
Like a certain Child who came wailing into the world here
And I will name them all my people
As certainly as I name that Child my Lord.
Such a grace-filled poem, accounting for the accompaniment you have brought to the people of Palestine and the gifts they have given you in return. blessings on your way, Chris. Salaam and peace. May ‘shalom’ be a true vision for the people.
A lovely thought provoking poem….so many thinks I didn’t know either, thank you
Dear, dear Chris…. thank you for this. I am (once more) in tears. It touches me deeply.
And I didn’t know that I too would be offered
dinner on the house in the Capitol
together with two bananas on a plate
brought to me
and hot tea
then, too, I cried
they show us the Way.
Indeed they do. Looking forward to lots more sharing once I get out of airports! Ma a Salaam, my friend, have a safe journey.