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How it is in Nablus

Bounded by Mount Ebal
Said to represent the curse of disobedience
And Mount Gezirim, said to represent the blessings of obedience
Some anxious chickens have preceded the dawn with crowing
After the semi automatic guns and rockets are fired
The bells rung on the half hour
And the unemployment rate rises
Like the morning sun
To sixty percent.
The city is surrounded, locked down
Only pedestrians can cross the checkpoints
In long lines
Through narrow turnstiles
Like cattle chutes
At Hawara
Sixteen miles inside the Israeli border.
But the knafeh is sweet
And at 4 A.M. the muezzins make first call
Waking the dogs
Stirring the city
Reminding the fighters to hide their guns
The Israeli soldiers to withdraw
The staff at the Medical Relief Committee
To resume their duties
At Radifia Hospital
Where the lights come on
Where soap and furniture producers, quarrymen, and stock traders
Stretch their limbs
Where forty thousand people living in refugee camps like Balata
Hide their despair
Nurse their babies and their wounds
Searching for meaning, fresh water, a piece of bread
And the visiting peace worker
Turns on the internet
Game seven in Boston
Sox versus Indians
Cavalry versus natives
Israelis versus Palestinians
Brother and sister versus brother and sister
How it is in Nablus
Sox up three to two
Top of the sixth