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  • Netanel Schwartz

On the Day my Grandfather Left Agouim the Village Cried

Agouim

why did you send out your men

with silver tongues

and silver platters

and jewels for lips

and jewels for gifts

for my grandfather

Abakar.


Agouim

why did you allow your merchants

to weep into the Dra’a

until the valley

swamped into a river

with sailboats and steamships

and three buses of your Jews

and my grandfather

Abakar.


Agouim

why did you hear Sheikh Aiytu Shalash

whispering, whispering by the buses

and still stay in your clay houses

while Sheikh Aiytu Shalash

wrenched open three honey dates

and two figs

and one green olive from 1961

for my grandfather

Abakar.

Agouim

why did you

sleep that night

and all the rest after it

and never give even one

of your red clay houses

for the boat

for my grandfather

Abakar.

Agouim why did your

cold and bitter wind

not bite again

for sixty years

at least.

His cheek

stayed warm after that,

my grandfather Abakar.

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