For Najwan Darwish

A lucky three-year-old
Is Saher* Abu Namous

If Gaza didn’t explode
The world would have
Known nothing of him

Now he is all in reports
One among the victims
Dead like a nipped bud

Saher will not see dawn
It will not dawn on him
Dawn buried in the sun
He is dawn’s stone-face

Thin strip along the sea
Gaza is a handful of sky
A handful of vegetation
A handful of spared life

And a handful of rubble
As tax paid for freedom

Gaza is a refuge of birds
Blinded by metallic fires

Gaza is the state of mind
The enemy longs to tame
The enemy longs to strip
The bone of its feathers
The thin strips of its lives
Marooning along the sea

Gaza has nothing to give
Except Saher Abu’s body
The last child of sacrifice
Paid by a neighbourhood

Bombs from a sunken sky
Fall deafly on a homeland
Mourning over tiny graves
Under freshly planted trees

By Manash Bhattacharjee

Manash is a poet, translator and political science scholar from New Delhi. His first collection, Ghalib’s Tomb and Other Poems, was published recently by The London Magazine. Find out more about the collection here.

*‘Saher’ means dawn.

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