A child’s perspective of day-to-day life in a Palestinian refugee camp

“The sun flirts with my eyelids as they rhythmically flutter open,
the way one falls asleep,
then all at once

And in this brief moment do I feel as any other child should,
happy and glad to have seen another day,
yet my condition can evoke none but pathos to an outside viewer,
one that may be described to bring dismay,

I wake not to the smell of eggs and beans,
or bacon piled to the sky,
“Those are dreams” I tell myself,
yet to say they aren’t my desire-no more than a lie,

The putrid scent of decaying flesh felt like velvet,
as it pranced joyfully in the air,
joined by it’s twin evil of low whispers,
mother’s telling children not to despair,

Though of course, to be here is to do little beside it,
as lights of hope grow dim,
the walls are lined with sincere, patient prayers,
yet the times looked no less grim,

I could feel the voices that blanketed the scene,
and the ever sad, sad smiles,
and I ask myself as I do every morning,
Do I dare open my eyes?”

~ Azzam Anwar


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