Not Now

we challenged you to write about our people who were unjust victims, he said

she knew her dislike of the pleasure of holding onto victimhood

and the image of her grandparents hurriedly dragging themselves

into their grave outside of the shtetl moved from right to left to right

she was in the challenge and sank into the confusion of where she was going

put one word in front of the other to let them know she understands their suffering

past and present mingle their suffering not now and she lost her compassion

as she entered the photograph of the demolished homes and the bulldozer they drove

into the Masafer Yatta villages like the horses galloping into the Ukrainian village of her people

their hoofs a bulldozer blade back and force she moves with garbled words

as the stories of deaths run into each other but not now not now

There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens

she remembers the line and lives only in reckoning with her people’s rupture

of cruelty her people she melds in their shadows as they chant

Death to the Arabs and her words rain drops in death valley evaporate disappear

the chanting continues the bulldozer blade dances wildly on the walls of others

About the Poem

The poem expresses the inner wrestling of Israeli rebuking Israel’s recent eviction and demolition of Palestinian homes in Masafer Yatta villages in the West Bank and their loyalty to the history of Jewish suffering.

About the Author

Michal Rubin is an Israeli living in Columbia, SC. A psychotherapist, a Cantor , and a bilingual poet, her poetry and hybrid works appeared in Psychotic Education (SC, 2006) and The Art and Science of Psychotherapy (Journal of the American Academy of Psychotherapists, 2016, and the Spring and Summer issues of 2021) and accepted for publication (2022 summer edition) in Wrath Bearing Tree journal and Rise Up Journal.

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