The Boy with the Broken Sandal Strap

The Boy with the Broken Sandal Strap

It is not with youthful indiscretion that he ambles,
the boy in the white robes,
but with dignity
for he knows that grisly tasks
(such as the one at hand)
are mere hurdles to overcome;
they’re nothing more than snags.

Indifference to wailing women on street corners
shows on his brow
as the bundle in his arms
becomes heavier,
much heavier now.

Soldiers make imprudent comments when the boy,
to them another worthless passer-by,
dares not to look them in the eye;
he stares at their Noblesse cigarette smoke.

Boyhood is abandoned in the hot Gaza sand
in the wake of a broken sandal strap
that veils the sound of his sister’s blood
dripping from his hands.

A mortar shell.
A shallow grave.
Another dead child.
A boy with a broken sandal strap.

And what say you of the boy, Israel;
the boy turned beast,
who knows neither love
nor forgiveness


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