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BooksNovember 3, 2023

The Friday Poem: ‘Canaan’s Children’ by Hadassah Grace

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

A new poem by Hadassah Grace.

Canaan’s Children

we stare at our shoes
my tongue is a walking stick
your teeth are made of stone
somewhere a well fills up with smoke
spilling out onto the desert in a rash of roses
somewhere the call to prayer
lands with a thud on wet carpet

I stare at my phone
search for Palestine and cough
throat full of ash
search for Israel and smell matches
somewhere nakba and diaspora are duking it out
as America laughs through bared teeth
somewhere a white dog worries the bones of a springbok
her tender calves sleep back to back, packed tight into
a cradle of barbed wire

you stare at the ceiling

you are searching for G-d

I look too, but the phosphorus burns my eyes

somewhere homes are built, and unbuilt,

and built, and unbuilt

and built and unbuilt

a kind of magic trick, performed with red tape and blue ink

streets rearrange themselves, cities disappear and

you tell me next year in Jerusalem


The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are currently closed.

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