The Poetry Thursday challenge is to "write like anyone but you." This poem was inspired by an article September 9 in The Independent, London about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.The Israeli military and economic siege of Gaza has led to dire straits for Palestinians. Salaries have gone unpaid for six months; medical care is extremely limited and food, water and electricity resources are scarce.
Someone else's voice
Can you hear any voice other than your own?
Do you have any idea what we must endure
day after day, night after night,
with gunfire and explosions shaking the foundations;
reality's horror rivaling our worst nightmares?
Do you know what it means
to work every day for six months and not get paid,
because a blockade of shipments have created bankruptcy?
Do you understand what it's like
to try to feed your family when the market shelves are empty?
Would you share our frustration
if your child couldn't go to school
and learn how to stand up for himself
in a dangerous land of uncertainty,
because the electricity's cut and the road blocked?
Do you know what it is to walk miles for work,
petrol supplies long suspended?
Forced to run through a residential neighbourhood,
in the midst of a military raid-and-rout,
risking a bullet in the crossfire.
While the international community fails to act,
handicapped by politics and semantics,
do you understand the pain we feel
when we can't get a feverish child to hospital,
past a barricade guarded by soldiers?
Do you accept the bitterness poisoning our hearts
each time we have to bury another victim;
each time a relative is picked up
and sent to jail for questioning,
never to be seen again?
Can you imagine what it's like
to carve a life in this tiny strip of troubled land?
To feel powerless, at the mercy and will
of a brutal armed force,
caring little for our human rights?