The Prayer of the Palestinian Refugee

      Copyright © 2005 Jordan White

It's a lovely Friday morning,

I'm walking home from mosque.

The lake shines in the sun, it's hot!

But, for the fish, it's not.

The lake is cool and blue,

but most of all, it's home.

The water passes through his gills.

The fish, a silver glimmering

swims through the weeds, alone.

A little boy comes whistling,

he saunters to the lake,

he carries a bucket and a net,

a pole, a rod, some bait, some worms.

He wears a skullcap on his curls.

I go my way.  My prayers are said.

I'll find my way back home.

But I can't forget that little fish.

Will he be alive, tonight?

Will he be flopping, on the shore,

unable to breathe the air?

Out of his element, so to speak.

And will the boy just watch him flop

without a single care?

I think I understand the fish,

I'm out of my element, too.

I live in a place that's not my home

in a place I don't belong.

I struggle, just like that luckless fish,

displaced from all I know.

I'll always feel quite like that fish,

left in this place, to die, alone.