Monday, April 17, 2017

Nancy Scott


My father did not try to stop me.
I think he’s proud
one of his children will enter Paradise.

Dark-eyed houris
will kiss my bleeding wounds,
cloak me in a hulla robe.

O, Allah, I have lived by your words.
I wish to leave this bitter earth: scorched
sand, dust, uprooted olive trees, old men
staring into cracked coffee cups.

Land that imprisoned my brother,
beat my uncle senseless near Ramallah,
turned our home to rubble.

In the camp of my youth, my grandmother’s
swelled fingers peeling an orange,
tattered books we shared with others,
my father struggling every day to feed us.

Last night I prayed
with comrades near Bethlehem
for the strength
to carry out my mission.

They say at the first drop
of blood, my sins will be forgiven.

Gerald So reads "Day of Judgment":

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Nancy confesses: "Although I wrote this poem a few years ago, it still feels relevant today. When endless hostilities become the norm, it made me wonder what beliefs or rationales could ultimately convince a young Palestinian to become a suicide bomber."

NANCY SCOTT is managing editor of U.S.1 Worksheets and author of nine books of poetry. Her most recent, Ah Men (Aldrich Press, 2016) is a retrospective on the men who have influenced her life. She is also a visual artist and a frequent contributor to The Five-Two. Originally from the Chicago area, she now resides in New Jersey.

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