Celebrate Ralph Nader’s 90th birthday with 30% off all his books - 2 days
Skip Navigation

Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

Palestinian artist Heba Zagout was killed with her two young children by an Israeli airstrike on Gaza on Friday, October 13, 2023.


The past two weeks have brought unimaginable horror to the people of Palestine and to the people of Israel, a tragedy perpetrated by a fascistic regime at the expense of civillians. It's hard to know how to respond without falling into despair. Mona Damluji, author of the children's book Together, shares a response to the seige upon Gaza with a poem of anguish, of resistance, and, ultimately, of hope.

I SEE HOW THIS ENDS
BY MONA DAMLUJI

When I say Palestine, 
I bear witness to the atrocities of history. 

When I say Palestine, 
I believe another world is possible. 

When I say Palestine, 
I remember how all the keys worn around their necks 
once fit snugly in the palm of their hands as they arrived home. 

When I say Palestine, 
I see beautiful people healing tree roots torn from the land. 

When I say Palestine, 
I know right from wrong. 

When I say Palestine, 
I stand proudly on the shoulders of giants 
and dig my heel into the eye of the monster.

When I say Palestine, 
I mean Falastin and not occupied territories. 

When I say Palestine, 
I dream wide open spaces where life is thriving. 

When I say Palestine, 
I hear the cries of the grassroots, the unstoppable, 
the victors of this moral battleground. 

You can’t make me say conflict, 
when I mean occupation.

You can’t make me say animal, 
when I mean child. 

You can’t make me say human shield, 
when I mean child. 

You can’t make me say body, 
when I mean someone’s child was taken from them 
and never returned. 

You can’t make me say clash, 
when I mean they dropped bombs 
that flattened a city block. 

You can’t make me say both sides. 

You can’t make me say it’s complicated. 

You can’t make me say endless cycle of violence.

When I say, I see how this ends, 
I mean peace. 

When I say, I see how this ends, 
I mean justice. 

When I  say, I see how this ends, 
I mean Palestine.

—Mona Damluji
October 17, 2023

Recent posts