Poem by Tiffany Metty

 

Intifada

Hold her tight enough, father,
and maybe
you can keep her here.
Remind her tiny body that
there are things being left behind.

You will only end up somewhere
with her, your small, gone daughter,
if you stay, still,
in the madness of the street
until falling ashes veil further you from sight,
no matter how hard you shake them off.

You will come home tonight
to her mother and the brothers
she has left behind,
empty. All of you
will pray that she finds the brother
who left too, too soon ago.

You will sit on the bed
no longer hers,
the one where she heard
you tell her the stories of prophets.
Lie next to the windowsill, where
she lined the five white pebbles
you gave her for each birthday.

She is missing one,
lost in the same minute
she lost her brother,
who threw the stone
at the Goliath of tanks
and religion.
You will toss them
away.

 

Artwork © Ira Joel Haber
Artwork © Ira Joel Haber

 

Tiffany Metty likes thunderstorms, poppies, comfy beds, and gnomes. She aspires to keep bees and have a honey farm in New Zealand.

Ira Joel Haber was born and lives in Brooklyn. He is a sculptor, painter, book dealer, photographer and teacher. His work has been seen in numerous group shows both in USA and Europe and he has had 9 one man shows including several retrospectives of his sculpture. His work is in the collections of The Whitney Museum Of American Art, New York University, The Guggenheim Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum and The Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Since 2007 His paintings, drawings, photographs and collages have been published in over 160 on line and print magazines. He has received three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two Pollock-Krasner grants, the Adolph Gottlieb Foundation grant and, in 2010, he received a grant from Artists’ Fellowship Inc. He currently teaches art to retired public school teachers at The United Federation of Teachers program in Brooklyn.

 

7 Comments

  1. Dear Editors: Now that you have entered the realm of politics, I have a response to Ms. Metty’s poetry which I have attached and would appreciate the equal time (space) for the response. I hope you are not one-sided and will provide a forum for the “other side”

    Sincerely,

    Zvi A. Sesling

  2. Zvi,

    any dichotomy or dualism between the personal and political, or anything else, is simply institutionalized. Each poem or expression of the self is both personal and political at once. Our human experiences are facets of humanity, and their infinitive number creates a sphere. There are no longer sides until you begin to dissect and cut apart this sphere humanity. However, I recognize that much of Judism is rooted in the concept of duality, and you may have taken the above statement as blatant of Judism when it is simply a different way of looking at our sphere.

    The idea that you have come to see the extremely personal experience of losing a child described in the poem to be entering a “other side” (read: political realm) speaks to the idea that personal and political are not separate and should not be thought of as such. (If this idea isn’t clear enough, remember that States are composed of individual persons with personal lives and decisions of States are made personally by people who have personal lives and each of our personal lives are comprised of other people with personal lives and together we make up government positions filled by persons, etc.)

    Additionally, there is nothing in the poem that suggests the subject is or is not of a certain religion, save the use of the word intifada, which is Arabic for “shake them off” and has come to mean a form of resistance in which young Palestinian boys through small objects such as pebbles at Israeli military presence in their neighborhoods. There are three major religions that share the stories of prophets as well as David and Goliath. (Yes, I am aware David was a Jew and fought an oppressor of the Jews.)

    I also agree with you that we should have access to all facets of a conflict, so that we may better see the sphere of it all. Perhaps you should address the issue with major media and the Isreali government which has recently refused the presence of Amnesty International and other NGO human rights groups in Gaza to report on “their side.”

    ~Love and Peace

    1. I approved of this message for Zvi because I didn’t want to make it seem like we were holding back anyone’s discourse. That said, it is posted here without Zvi Sesling’s initial comments, which I and others would like to see. If they could be posted, it would be appropriate as well as appreciated.

  3. I wonder what some of you would think if the poem was left untitled…would it suddenly become “unpolitical” to you?

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