Tsipi Sharoor

And then War
by Tsipi Sharoor
translated by Daniel Revach

As if no time had passed, a warning siren rips
the festive morning membrane. I stare through
bleary eyes, only to return to my sheets. A nightmare, no doubt.‎

And then a massacre.‎

And as if no time had passed, the years slip back
with the slashing thrusts of memory:‎
Six Day War. Yom Kippur War. First Lebanon War. Second Lebanon War.‎

And as I do when gripped by fear, I step out
into the street, in spite of the sirens, in spite
of the emptiness of a locked-up city. To bear witness.‎

And then war.‎

Blood, mass slaughter and soldiers – with duty and with courage. With death.‎
History is hurled back into a previous century.‎

The body in flames. The soul in a tempest.‎
Could it be? Here? In this land? The thunderous burst of missiles,‎
while the street goes about its day, empty. Pure like the morning,‎
too early to understand that it’s washed in children’s blood.‎

Seven wars. I beg there won’t be another. But the war
goes about its day. Goes on happening, unfolding‎
its red petals over the Gaza envelope, the North’s finger.‎
In all its echoes, as the enemy devours.‎
And will be devoured?‎

This is war.‎

Cruel as always. Cursed. The blood of babies offered to the earth.‎
And as if no time had passed, warning sirens rip one morning
after another, membranes long crumbled.‎

This is war! This‏ ‏is it!‎

Tsipi Sharoor

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