Picking Olives in Gaza

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O’Live Tree

O, beat me more.

Hit me with your sticks;

Step on my leaves

Smother my twigs under your boots

Like how you always do.

The beating I bear;

The humiliation, I do not care

But take me not,

Steal me not.

Even if I burn,

Here I belong

And to them I shall return.

***

If you hear my talk,

You may feel my pain

But you belong not here:

You do not even know

How to touch me,

How to gently squeeze me,

How to hug me,

How to wipe off the dust,

When I am ripe,

And when I am not,

When I need water,

And when I do not,

And how to pick me

Like how they always do.

***

Your smell and heavy boots

And the metal on your backs

And your metal bars!

For God’s sakes who on earth olives picks

With metal bars for sticks?

***

But I ramble again.

Because you won’t understand

And if you understood me,

You would not, in the first place,

Be here.

***

You come and go.

I see you once or twice a year

With either flames or sticks

And I weep for the rest of the year.

But one day

My twigs shall grow,

The oil shall flow,

My people shall glow,

And you, you will go.