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Thursday, May 20, 2021


by Bonnie Naradzay

In Gaza City, Riad Ishkontana mourned the death of one of his children on Sunday. Mr. Ishkontana said that when rescuers pulled him and his 7-year-old daughter from the rubble of his home after an airstrike, he awoke to a new life—one without his wife and four other children. Credit:Hosam Salem for The New York Times, May 19, 2021

I am feeling numb, reading about stun guns
rubber tipped bullets and tear gas cannisters
that I pay for with my taxes, and the Boeing 
weapons sales, mainly kits transforming bombs 
into precision missiles dropped from planes 
on Gaza, as before. Armed forces wreck Minarets 
during Ramadan. The call to prayer, up in flames.
Worshippers at the mosque are felled with bullets.
Evictions are enforced by the Courts, the way 
it’s always done. Snipers target fleeing children;
they’ve done it all before.  When will we learn?
Here, orange blossoms are exploding in the sun.
I am feeling numb, reading about stun guns.

Bonnie Naradzay’s recent poems are in AGNI, the American Journal of Poetry, New Letters (Pushcart nomination), RHINO, Tar River Poetry, EPOCH, Tampa Review, Kenyon Review Online, Potomac Review, Xavier Review, and others. For many years she has led poetry workshops at a day shelter for the homeless and at a retirement center, both in Washington, DC.