We

Seemingly helpless

in a democracy beyond repair,

on a world brewing the floods, droughts

and endless wanderings

of a vengeful planet,

I live as a godless Jew in an age

when the leaders of Judaism

spit the fires of Uzis and smart bombs

like the bowels of Ba’al

in eras past.

 

I, you, we anguish our selves,

turn one upon the other

in a frenzy of utter helplessness,

week after month for a decade,

lonely, beleaguered, bereft.

 

‘Nam begets Afghanistan,

Afghanistan begets Iraq,

Iraq begets, begets,

begets,

 

Emmett Till begets Medgar Evers,

Medgar Evers begets Rodney King,

Rodney King begets Amadou Diallo,

Amadou Diallo begets Troy Davis,

Troy Davis begets Trayvon Martin,

Trayvon Martin begets Michael Brown,

murdered by racist mob or racist cop or racist system,

begotten, begotten, forgotten,

in every shore, in every county,

week after month after decade,

 

but slowly, slowly, slowly, I, you, we

beget a

We,

a leviathan We

that thinks, that feels, that struggles, that loves,

a We that strikes,

a We that talks,

a We that seizes,

a We that thinks,

a We that destroys,

a We that loves the They

while hating the It,

that disperses the They as They

that destroys the It,

that builds our We

to rebuild.

 

I, you, we, We live,

we struggle that the Earth may live,

that our We

can supplant the It,

liberate the Palestinians, liberate the Jews,

and liberate the Earth

from the It, from the They,

that the We can grow a universal Us,

that Earth and We and all

can love,

can live.

 

 

This poem is from Grief and Rage: An American Jew’s Poems on Palestine by Marxist Sociology section member Sam Friedman.  You can obtain one or more copies of Grief and Rage from him by e-mailing sam4wp@netscape.net.