Poetry

Stand off at Gate 927

It is a beautiful sunny morning
At apartheid gate 927
The Israeli soldiers are listening to rock music
They are in their 20s
They have automatic weapons
Uniforms, walkie-talkies
Humvies, tanks
F16 fighter jets, a nuclear arsenal.
We are Palestinian farmers
With donkeys and tractors
With seed, fertilizer, and lunch in plastic bags
We are four Americans over sixty
With cameras, cell phones, and bottled water
We are Bedouin with sheep and goats and identity cards
We dismount from our donkeys and tractors
And wait
Wait long enough to see the falcon hunting,
To see the wild dog with the stolen chicken,
Wait to be admitted through the small gate
To the turnstile
Then into the concrete bunker
To wait at the counter, to show our passes,
To be released into a holding area
To go back through a sliding gate
To get back on our donkeys and tractors
To pass through the big gate
Opened only certain hours
On certain arbitrary days
To get onto our land - our own land -
On the other side of this abominable fence
That separates us from our fields
From our trees and fruit
From our grass, our rocks, and our graves
On the other side of this fence
That separates us from our brothers and sisters
We stand in the sun waiting hours
On the side of this fence
That separates us from our livelihoods
On the side of the fence
That separates us