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Wednesday, May 26, 2021


by Buff Whitman-Bradley

An encounter in 2020 between a Jewish couple in Ijzim, Israel (south of Haifa) and the displaced Palestinians in whose house that couple has lived since 1948 when the Palestinians were denied the right to return to their village and property. Photo from an Al Jazeera video report. At YouTube, you can click on “SHOW MORE” to read an English translation of the Arabic narration.

Did their mothers tell them
Take whatever you want?

Did their fathers say
By any means necessary?

Did the god they concocted assure them
That they mattered more than anyone else?

Did the historians of erasure argue
That until they arrived the land was uninhabited?

Did the cartographers of eradication draw beautiful maps
Haunted by ghost villages?

Do the politicians they vote for promise
A sanitized future cleansed of the Other?

When they faced those they had dispossessed
And claimed not to give them a second thought

Did justice not moan?
Did righteousness not weep?

Buff Whitman-Bradley’s poems have appeared in many print and online journals. His new book is At the Driveway Guitar Sale: Poems on Aging, Memory, Morality (Main Street Rag Publishing). He podcasts at and lives with his wife, Cynthia, in northern California.