let us pretend

Let us pretend
that we haven’t been this way before
too recently and too often
that this is the way forward
that it is the road to the peace
which eluded you when you sent
planes and tanks and men
into Lebanon, Ramallah, Jenin,
Gaza, Gaza, Gaza.
Let us pretend
that this time will be different
that this time will be worth it
that you can tot up the lives
of dead children and collateral families
and declare victory
that security can be measured
in flattened houses
burials and tears.
And let us pretend
that when you build settlements and walls
and criss-cross the country with roads
and stitch it with checkpoints
and cut down olive groves
and throw people from their homes
let us pretend then
that the only terrorism in town
is the anger of young men
who build rockets they can barely aim
who have no hope,
who see their homeland dismembered before them.
Let us pretend
that this tit for tat
this tit for bloody tat
is the only way
is the legacy you will leave
your children and your children’s children
their children and their children’s children
Let us pretend there can be no hope
that milk and honey cannot be shared
that Israeli and Palestinian can never
live together, laugh together, love together
two flags flutter together
let us press our face to the cross-hairs
and close our eyes
and stop up our ears
and still our beating hearts
and let us pretend, Bibi,
let us pretend.

© Steve Pottinger 14 July 2014

This poem has been published in the anthology ‘for the children of Gaza’ by Onslaught Press


2 Responses

  1. Pam Job

    Hi Steve
    -just clicked on yr poem ‘Let’s Pretend’ after 1 o’clock news. Hit the button fair and square. Mike Harwood says he met you at Stokey library and you would be interested in a reading at Poetry Wivenhoe.I’m on the PoWiv team and ex-stokey – 23 years – so will recommend on strength of this poem alone! Great stuff – the poem- but very head-banging situation for the rest of us!

    July 21, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    • spot

      Thanks, Pam. Despite all evidence to the contrary, I keep believing that if enough of raise our voices, we can get things changed. So I raise my voice as best I can.

      July 22, 2014 at 8:44 pm

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