My Dead Friend’s Son Posts from a Bomb Shelter in Tel Aviv


I can remember you and your dad strolling
the beach, crab hunting.
I was close by teaching my son
not to fear waves going over his head.
You were both four– friends and schoolmates.

As parents, we were only
concerned with keeping
sons safe and sane.

When your family immigrated to Tel Aviv,
I admonished your dad for taking you
from a melting pot into fire.
A mensch from Boston,
bringing up a son by the beach
would be enough for most.

Three decades later,
your dad is gone and you post
ramblings of war from a bomb shelter,
numbers of the missing, injured, and dead—

Today your post is shorter, the news is the same
the sirens–louder, the numbers– rising,
numbers that diminish in value
while the world becomes immune
as we scroll down giving a thumbs up
to blooming gardens, exotic recipes, and all
that is coming soon to a theater near you.
Benign images ready to alleviate
the burden of responsibility.

About the Poem

In wartime, it is necessary that humanity not lose its empathy for all people affected by war. As the war in Israel progresses, the world cannot turn a blind eye. We must do whatever we can as free people to alleviate and remedy wartime atrocities. This poem speaks to the plea that during any war, we as a free people remain vigilant in our civic responsibility to continue to have empathy and a voice to urge peaceful resolutions.

About the Author

Laurie Kuntz has published two poetry collections (The Moon Over My Mother’s House, Finishing Line Press and Somewhere in the Telling, Mellen Press), and three chapbooks (Talking Me Off The Roof, Kelsay Books, Simple Gestures, Texas Review Press, and Women at the Onsen, Blue Light Press). Simple Gestures won the Texas Review Poetry Chapbook Contest, and Women at the Onsen won the Blue Light Press Chapbook Contest. Her 6th poetry book, That Infinite Roar, will be published by Gyroscope Press at the end of 2023. She has been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes and a Best of the Net Prize. Her work has been published in Gyroscope Review, Roanoke Review, Third Wednesday, One Art, Sheila Na Gig, and many other literary journals. She currently resides in Florida, where everyday is a political poem waiting to be written. Visit her at:

5 thoughts on “My Dead Friend’s Son Posts from a Bomb Shelter in Tel Aviv”

  1. What a relevant poem that speaks of the horror that is going on in Israel right now / yes we become immune to the news but even so we are all affected esp
    In our subconscious thoughts
    Thank you for sharing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *