I am Sorry

Gaza Palestine Children

I speak for those whose voice remains unheard;
I write for those whose stories await being told;
I sing for those whose melody aches to be sung;
I paint for those whose canvas yearns to be done;
I cry for those whose embrace was frozen in death;
I dissent for those whose dead are unmarked unfound;
I rebel for those whose crippling bodies tell a tale;
I fight for those whose children were charred to pale;
I pray for those whose hymn was muzzled to a sigh;
I oppose for those whose life was taken for a lie;
I resist for those whose hunger craves for a pie;
I struggle with those sick that implore for care;
I shiver with those that tremble in the cold;
I quiver with those that long for warmth and water;
I stand with those whose dignity is torn, mocked and crushed;

Horrified, I despise those whose reckless bullets bear my name;
I detest those whose ferocious bombs proxy my tax;
I abhor those that play the bluff of moral superiority;
I curse those tie me into this genocide complicity;
I ask those that dare to look away to never say never again;

Meanwhile, in the valley of death, which we know as Gaza;
I revere those who endure bombs to offer care;
I applaud those that dodge bullets to seek our truth;
I celebrate medics, reporters and others whose bravery is pure gold;
I salute their courage in the valley of death which we know as Gaza;
I plead to write, paint, speak, sing, care, and stand with Gaza;

Ashamed, I am sorry for lost dreams, empty canvas and frozen embrace;
I am sorry for unsung hymns, broken melodies, and untold stories;
I am sorry for ferocious bombs, brutal bullets, death, and destruction;
I am sorry for a heartless war, cruel despots, and stranded humanity;
I am sorry Gaza, sorry now, sorry forever and ever.

Samina Salim is Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacological & Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Houston

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