Postcard: Gaza and Me

Madeleine Marie Slavick has written several books of poetry and non-fiction. Her most recent title is delicate access ( 2004), with Chinese translations by Luo Hui. She has performed, and exhibited her photography in Taipei, Tokyo, Singapore, Cairo, in the United States, where she was born, and in Hong Kong, where she has lived for the past twenty years.

Peace March in Hong Kong, 11 January 2009, organized by the student-led NGO,
Humanity in Focus. Photo Sayed Gouda, Hong Kong

Sunday 11 January 2009
Hong Kong

Last night, friends sigh poems of the hatred, the wasted blood, while the moon, also ripe, rounds its round.

Today, families walk with their robes, caps, veils, souls, wounded, a call to Allah every block. A sleeping child drapes across shoulders, warming his father and me, while another in a mother’s carriage rolls us all the way into Central.

The police cordon us with a plastic piece of red and white tape, one sliver away from this city, where drivers seem lost, passengers in trams sun-frozen, shoppers absurd. 

Behind us, a hundred Indonesian women on their one day off. Some wear a green ribbon on the right arm, and all their brown eyes, framed by the band of their veil, send me across a border.
Ahead, three hundred peacemakers bring their banners and their bodies to the office of the country where I was born so many poems ago.

Someone on the sidewalk shakes his head, walks the other way.