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July/August 2003 • Vol 3, No. 7 •

A Road Map to Pieces

By Bushra Fouz Mohammad

Show me a road, where my feet can walk a path to freedom. Show me a map, where once was a land with a name and a name for a people…

The road map is just an express bypass to Oslo’s dead end street.

And Palestinians know, all too well, what bypass roads are built on and where they lead to…

They’re built on confiscated dreams on flattened schools and lost texts.

They’re built on faint whispers of hope and torn paper wings, on mounds of rubble that once housed songs of angels: places where God has been bulldozed and exiled.

On uprooted olive groves,

On fertile tribal stories and a grandmother’s legacy,

On a schoolgirl’s ambitions and a little boy’s crush/crushed skull and bones on bitter honey and milk gone sour.

They know these roads like the back of their pricked and bloody hands—the hands that were chained to them, the feet that will never walk on them and the eyes/the eyes that could only watch as the new horizon gulps them out of existence.

These roads, more scary than jackals that once groped a Mother’s throat with fear, as her only son set off on a journey, Now she prays a thousand prayers for the return of jackals.

These roads, like veins pumping blood to an insentient monster, will swallow a people, too tired to walk the ancient dusty circular paths, who will lay waste to die in his peripheral vision.

When they die, another road will be paved on their bones to mute dissent and

History will never speak of them again.

Show them a road paved with freedom and they will dance to the rhythm of olive branches…

Show them a road built to tear them to pieces and they’ll opt for the sky.

To Palestinians a road is one, which is paved for use of colonizing settlers only, and a map is only a tribal myth of what once was their homeland.

Al Awda, June 21, 2003





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