If I must die

If I must die,
you must live
to tell my story
to sell my things
to buy a piece of cloth
and some strings,
(make it white with a long tail)
so that a child, somewhere in Gaza
while looking heaven in the eye
awaiting his dad who left in a blaze–
and bid no one farewell
not even to his flesh
not even to himself–
sees the kite, my kite you made, flying up above
and thinks for a moment an angel is there
bringing back love
If I must die
let it bring hope
let it be a tale


8 thoughts on “If I must die

  1. If you only wrote the title by itself, it would be enough to speak for your poem . So deep, so brilliant, and so sensitive it is .

  2. Pingback: If I must die | Mondoweiss

  3. comment by
    Annie Robbins:

    the power of the poem is it is a poem that finds beauty in both of life and death. not only the wish of the authors death to bring hope but..

    ‘while looking heaven in the eye’ is ambiguous in that it could (or not) mean a child who himself is on his last moments of life. so the kite affords this child comfort and hope by bringing his father to him in his last moments, even if he is just remembering the great days of kites on the beach which could have been the favorite day of the child’s life since the loss of his/her own father. so the hope could be so fleeting, it speeds up the cycle. it brings hope to the heart of a dying child in the last moments of his life, that he will see his father again.

    also, because of the kite days (the guinness world record!) in gaza when you look up at all the kites and see all the people up there as angels who are all in their hearts. so perhaps the author himself has looked up and seen these angels…it is cyclical and something everyone can relate to.

    since i first read this poem last month i have seen kites differently. when i saw the tail of a kite i thought of my father as an angel saying hello to me. maybe i will see that every time i see a kite now just because of this beautiful poem. maybe i will never see the long tail of a kite as just the tail of a kite anymore but as a tale.

    i haven’t seen lots of kites flying at once lately, but the next time i do maybe i will think of gaza and imagine all the kites as palestinians who have lost their lives thru the nakba. it is an easy tale to remember, this poem. so simple even if one forgets the words.

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