I often think there’s a woman on the hill
over there, who looks out her kitchen window
in my direction
as she prepares dinner for her family.
Perhaps that woman has watched our village grow.
Perhaps she’s seen it spread over the Gilboa
new homes built for young families
children playing in the yard.
I watch Jenin stretch so wide
I have to turn my head
to see the full size of it.
Perhaps that woman is picking olives, as I am
soaking them in large bins then
slicing lemons, adding coarse salt
tossing in bay leaves, peppercorns and
sharp red peppers to get the right flavor. Perhaps
she helps her husband, as I help mine
take their crop to the local press, return
with gallons of oil.
I watch evening stagger over Jenin as
I soap my dishes
see lights splash
over the city.
I wonder if that woman
is looking my way —
I would ask if she’s angry
if she’s afraid.