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Sunday, June 16, 2024

GAZA, JUNE 8, 2024

by Elizabeth Poreba

The office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Tusday that it was “profoundly shocked” by the impact on civilians of Israel’s raid to free four hostages, adding that actions by both Hamas and Israel may be war crimes. —The New York Times, June 11, 2024. Photo: A Palestinian medic carrying an injured child Saturday at a hospital during an Israeli military operation in the town of Nuseirat in central Gaza.
Credit...Mohammed Saber/EPA, via Shutterstock

We know from ancient bones that a pigeon or dove could atone 
now these bodies strewn 
sufficient sacrifice when less than a lamb or goat would suffice 
bodies anonymous to us 
the same birds that crowd our streets
but these could devise no flight 
their blood set the sinner right  
damage—collateral,  blood—fungible 
a ram replaces a son, or if no ram, 
a score of these little ones.

Elizabeth Poreba is a retired New York City High School English teacher. She has published two collections of poems. Vexed and Self Help (Wipf and Stock), and two chapbooks, The Family Profile and New Lebanon (Finishing Line Press). Her work is also in This Full Green Hour, an anthology composed of work by six of the O’Clock Poets (Sonopo Press, 2008). Kelsay Press will soon publish her new collection Yamma.