Who gives the order
Who gives the order to fire and who aims the gun and who is the target and whose life is stolen and who weeps with regret for what is lost and who will raise a flag of truce to stop the insanity and who will be the first to utter the word: peace?
Where did peace go?
Was it frightened by the sound of rockets falling? Did it run away to hide in the nearest bomb shelter? Is it huddled with the children in the dark space under the rubble? Is it hiding from war, from anger and rage, unwilling to risk returning until the fighting stops? Is it caught in this endless tug-of-war, each side claiming ancient injustices, bruises, rebuffs? Is it burrowing deeper into the safe room or shelter to avoid the conflict? Or is it missing in action, protecting a body concealed in the rubble? Or carried on a stretcher into what’s left of a hospital? Or maybe it’s weeping over each life lost, unable to keep count— Arab, Israeli—each life lost a precious life, irreplaceable.
©2022 Bruce Black
All rights reserved
is the author of Writing Yoga (Rodmell Press/Shambhala) and editorial director of The Jewish Writing Project. He received his BA from Columbia University and his MFA from Vermont College. His poems and personal narratives have appeared in Soul-Lit, Poetry Super Highway, Atherton Review, Elephant Journal, Blue Lyra Review, Tiferet Journal, Hevria, Poetica, Jewthink, The Jewish Literary Journal, Mindbodygreen, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and elsewhere. He lives in Sarasota, FL.