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Poetry

 

FOUR SONS

I have four sons –
Isaac, Joseph, Joshua, Benjamin -
their names are legend,
father, Abraham:

they, on the other hand,
are like most boys –
cheek the teacher,
choke on a fag,
dream of girls and motorbikes
and knowing all the answers -
pretend to study.

Each name beats an echo
that winds up with the wind
round the hills of Judea
down to the desert,
where vultures spiral
almost out of sight
searching for the killed -
dark smudges on the
clean sheet of sky.

My boys skate ramps,
scream at rock concerts,
sometimes fight each other,
grow up and dare not
tell their mother much.

Their names compound
the cantor’s lament,
the call of the muezzin,
the cry from the cross:

my sons have sons now
of their own -
don’t want to hate,
don’t want to kill
each other
in no man’s land -
where vultures circle still:

God and Allah willing.
 

 

 

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