Homeless Ethiopian in Tel Aviv

In the morning ‘neath azure,
with the Mediterranean reaching
out in Tel Aviv’s western horizon,
the cement walkways running parallel to the ocean
were flooded with bicyclists, walkers and joggers

At the center of a small rotary
sat a nondescript fountain
On one end of the fountain was a wooden bench
where an Ethiopian man, dressed
in his only pair of old, tattered clothes,
had fallen asleep stretched out across the bench,
lying on his side, with head resting
on his propped-up hand.
From a distance, one may have thought
him awake in this posture

Two white Israeli women, out for their morning stroll
in tank tops and nylon shorts, walked by the homeless man.
One ribbed the other and pointed at the sleeping
Ethiopian. The two women remained there, laughing, joking and
jubilantly pointing at the sleeping homeless man for a few minutes.
They snapped a half a dozen pictures on their
phones and continued their morning jaunt.

The morning sun continued to climb up the Mediterranean sky

Meanwhile, forty miles southward, the same sun shone in Gaza,
but after 14 years of siege, followed by forty of occupation….

perhaps this homeless Ethiopian Jew, mocked while sleeping
on a fountain bench, had much to be appreciative of

Peter F. Crowley is an independent writer and scholar with a M.S. in Conflict Resolution, Global Studies from Northeastern University. His writings can be found in Truthout, Antiwar.com. Mint Press News, Boston Literary Magazine, Ethnic Studies Review and several other publications Read other articles by Peter F..