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Jerusalem Dust

Ngorongoro_Acacia_xanthophloeaWe are tired of defending the land.
In thick black stockings or cut-off jeans,

we walk for miles past smoke clouding pockets of sky,
letting Old City dust enter our sandals, our teeth.

We have stopped arguing with tourists
who take photographs of our children

on the Sabbath. We begin to understand
everyone’s need for art, for documentation.

Yes, we are here. Yes, trees do grow
out of stone pathways, water does drip

into two-thousand-year-old cisterns.
See our red strings, our clotheslines, our children

playing, skipping, running across courtyards,
holding hands under the acacia.