Monday, December 25, 2006

On Hearing Eman Ahmad Khamas Speak in Denver

by Val D. Phillips

Greetings from the camps, my ancestors, yours.
Greetings from smoke, the showers, the trains,
the planes, the ovens, the graves, the children
shot in cold blood yesterday. I left my children

and husband, there, waiting for day, which rises
without a star, to plead our case against your hearts. Listen
my relatives, for this you are: the whistle of the train
grows louder, here, in your desert plain. Did you think

it was confined to mine? I do not come here to plead,
to surrender 6,000 years of dignity, all
that is left to me, but to gift you a prophecy.
Hear me, before it is too late, for your grandchildren;

the sun has gone down on mine. But they will remember,
as the trains across this plain are emptied, filled again,
the crows descend, and night screams to you across the Atlantic.
In our hour of need we turned to you, and you did nothing.


Anonymous Kate Goodspeed said...

Wow, Val, powerful, evocative, tragic. Everytime I sang O Little Town of Bethlehem and We Three Kings this holiday, I thought of the roadblocks and the wall and the permits. No wisemen permitted in or out. Just the shepherds who live within the virtual prison that is Bethlehem and Shepherds Field. But the birth of innocent babes in the midst of imperialism and oppression continues to this day, filling us with hope again. Became a refugee from Denver's blizzard and drove east in a 4-wheel drive ride found on Craig's List to be with family, not to be taxed or to find no room at the inn, but to find dry roads, family waiting at South Station in Boston, good cheer, Thai food, and lots of warmth. Stable love to you and Mark, Kate

8:49 AM  

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