"The Folly of Half"
Aman understands the walnut,
how the line of its equator,
like pressed lips, waits.
She understands the avocado,
sliced from point to round,
how one half falls away
from the pit. She misses it.
She is Muslim-Arab, she is
Israeli. She is two mismatched
socks, alone, after all the clothes
are folded. Solomon understands
the folly of splitting the baby.
So it says in Kings 3, in the Qur'an.
Aman is waiting for her mother
to cry out. My ear drops
to the belly of the land. I am
listening. Something stirs.
I feel it kick.
Comment on “The Folly of Half” by Sarah Zale:
Hagit Ra'anan, an Israeli peacemaker, her husband killed in Beirut by Palestinians, believes that if we can heal ourselves and heal individuals around us, there is a chance for healing between nations. In the Thich Nhat Hanh tradition, she says, “I don't think of myself as a ‘peacemaker.' I don't think you can ‘make' peace. It's already here. I just need to be that peace.”
Hagit is responsible for eighty-plus peace poles around Israel and occupied Palestine. She served as a guide for a compassionate listening delegation (www.compassionatelistening.org) to the “Good Fence” on the Lebanon border, and the Jewish settlement Rosh Pina, the home of Anael Harpez, where women, both Jewish and Palestinian, come together in spiritual support. One of Hagit’s peace poles is in Anael’s yard. We met Aman, who is both a Muslim and an Israeli citizen, caught in the middle of the Jewish-Israeli and Arab-Palestinian conflict.
The anthology is a required text for my research course War as Myth, Identity, and Wound. Seattle poets (Derek Sheffield, Holly Hughes, Martha Silano, Susan Rich, and myself) gave a reading on Sunday, January 25, 2009 at Elliott Bay Books. Another reading is scheduled at Eagle Harbor Books (Bainbridge Island, WA) on Thursday, January 29. As well, the anthology will be discussed in a blog on the Voices Education Project website (http://my.voiceseducation.org), host to Voices in Wartime. I serve on the Education Committee for this organization.
You can also read her essay from the Poets Against War newsletter (Fall 2006).