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Tuesday, 4 October 2011

New Women

In a city named Friend by two peoples,
she crawls under barbed wire held up
by one soldier, two of the four men carrying
long guns in their hands, one with a finger
on the trigger.  She is wearing yellow capri
pants and a white T-shirt, on the way to buy
sugar just down the street from her home,
and about half way to her grandmother. 
She carries no bag on this sunny day,
her money in her pocket.

In the hills three women stand by a road,
one with a baby in a carriage, another with
a preschooler.  They shoot with high-powered
rifles and pistols. They wear sandals and capris
as they practice killing fellow men and women,
families who live in the village, and watch
as soldiers fire teargas and bullets.  Goats, sheep,
olive trees, people have lived on these hills
for hundreds of years, but fire is coming,
and bullets come in many sizes.

Death in capris – yellow, khaki, certainly red –
toes still in sandals.  Weeds will grow.

© Lavinia Kumar

While the diplomats haggle, deadly tensions are mounting in the nascent Palestine
Lavinia Kumar lives in New Jersey. Her family includes a variety of cultures and immigrants. Her poetry has appeared in Waterways, Thatchwork (Delaware Valley Poets), Orbis, US1 Worksheets, and more.


  1. Chilling, heart-breaking, graphic yet subtle at the same time. How do you do that? But thank you for rattling me out of my complaisance, as only something like this can.

    Burying my head in my own small world is never the answer. I wish I knew what WAS. Thank you for this.

  2. Beautiful language and yet harrowing, crystal clear images created.
    This poem has really had an impact on me.


  3. This well written verse conjured up the disturbing images it intended.

    I sincerely hope that soon peace will come, yet I fear it will not.

    Anna :o]

  4. Some really striking imagery here. Great poem.