Nakba

Land. Lost land. Lost lives.
Maps, maneuvers, mass migration
From home, house, and garden
During the second fall of Adam:

Expulsion from Eden, a Palestinian
Place of family removed, erased in 1948:
Reclassified citizens now refugees
On the road toward camps along
The Trail of Tears so familiar
To their Cherokee brothers and sisters.

Herded into terror, into territory barred, barbed wired,
Walled, fenced, mined, droned, and towered.
Interrogation, intifada, occupation, cut off
From the wells and springs of living water
That measured out a thirst for words:

Another generation now holds the keys
To house and home in this architecture
Of dreams and resurrection,
Found beyond the tear gas, bullets, coffined flags,
Nailed to a crucifixion across this strip
Of land blockaded by tyranny and fear
Of a settlement found among an empty tomb
In a garden beyond Eden and Gethsemane
Where we settle down to share a meal, drink tea,
And break bread rising from the yeast of forgiveness.

Kemmer Anderson walks his dog along the Trail of Tears in Chattanooga, Tennessee and has walked the streets of East Jerusalem in 1971, '83, 98, and 2015. Read other articles by Kemmer.