Jaffa Sweet Smell

Jaffa Sweet Smell

by michael hall

I have a key to a home that has no door nor walls
but i can still smell jaffa oranges sweet in the breeze down the hill
over there stands a park where a village once stood
so my grandmother told me one day, almost everyday

Have you ever been to the sea
i’ve never been there but my grandfather has
it was warm and salty he says with moist eyes
but for me the wet of the sea is not allowed

Not too long ago we walked this land from water to water
over the hills and down into the farms tending rows and rows of orchards
some of the olive trees were thousands of years old
before armored bulldozers came broke and razed them into kindling

Al Quds is a dream for all of us to see
without roadblocks checkpoints and permits
without smug smartass soldiers barking and pushing
that day seems so far away

What is ours we cannot build upon
for illegal immigrants with an army tear it down
yet they build what they want where they want
with all the water filling their pools as our crops wither and die

I walked with children in the southern Hebron hills
on public dirt roads not bothering no one
but then it rides roaring down from inside a fortress colony
guns waving, curses launched from inside of beeping revving cars

In the courts to be tried by foreigners in your land is surreal
in a military court judged by bigotry what chance do you have
someone somewhere somehow saw you throw a rock at a tank
you must pay for scratching the paint

Inside the stinking squalid cell in between your beatings
the words of your grandparents echo in your heart
you can almost smell the oranges on the limbs of Jaffa
you can almost taste the salt of the sea….you endure

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