A Tap on the Roof

The warning scud skirts the roof
58 seconds to run
58 seconds to run
58 seconds to run

Slah Nuwasrah gathers his nephews
Nidal wide-eyed
Muhammad screams in his cot
The pregnant wife frozen to her bed
Corner of the quilt chewed wet by clamped teeth

48 seconds to run
48 seconds to run
48 seconds to run

Serrated edge of a warning phone call
Spreads panic
Hana frantically searches the yard
‘Where is Muhammad Malaka?’
Wheels of a little bike spin to a halt

38 seconds to run
38 seconds to run
38 seconds to run

Basema sips her coffee
Thirsty from today’s long fast
Husband, Mahmud has his feet up on the table – again
She lovingly chides him and says ‘Don’t, the children will do the same!’

28 seconds to run
28 seconds to run
28 seconds to run

Suha Abu Sada tries to force her legs to move
Clutches of her wheelchair means she must stay put
She stares out the window,
fingers circling prayer beads

18 seconds to run
18 seconds to run
18 seconds to run

Argentina take on Holland
Muhammed, Ibrahim, Salim, Suleiman, Musa, Hamdi
watch the penalties – laughing

8 seconds to run
8 seconds to run
8 seconds to run

Naifa, 82, cries remembering how once she would have sprinted
Sprinted down the three floors of her storey
Cleared the 100 meters to a place where only her lungs would burn
From the acrid smoke

7
6
5
4
3
2
1

A small head amongst the garden, a house blown wide open like a
faceless corpse, only legs dangle from a mangled bike, bloodied football shirts
lying amongst the rubble, vultures on high hill tops clapping – laughing
at the show

Operation Protective Edge
Obliterating Palestinians Dead

58 seconds to run