Gaza 2009

I wrote this poem on the invasion of Gaza in 2008-9. Sadly, things have not changed much since then.


Walking Home (on 2008-9 Invasion of Gaza)

Like three dolls in a toy bed

One girl, two little boys

With peaceful faces, eyes closed

No wounds, no blood—a clean death

The girl, a smile etched on her face

Dreaming, probably, of a better place


The boys, holding hands, unsmiling

Like guardian angels walking their sister home:

Through bombed streets of the walled city

Jumping over trash, avoiding piss and blood

Through ranks of soldiers, columns of tanks

Breathing gunpowder, smoke, phosphorous

Carrying their sister across the wall

To a city of light, cafes, and pristine streets


They stop in front of a candy store

Silent, hopeful, cautious, a bit afraid

Then one of them, the one in blue jeans

A white t-shirt and a black baseball hat,

Enters, after wiping his feet on the door mat

In his stretched hand a Jordanian coin

Found in a dusty Gaza street, right

By the deserted, defunct Bus stop.


Sir, he says to the man in the candy store

Sir, my sister would like an orange drop

By M R

Originally from Pakistan, Dr. Masood Ashraf Raja is an Associate Professor of Postcolonial Literature and Theory and the editor of Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies.
Raja tweets @masoodraja

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