By Ronnie Kasrils

Shireen!

Shireen!

Struck down on Street Jenin

Bloodhounds

Snarl and bite

Her home they storm

Her corpse still warm

They salivate

Gobs of hate

Dogs of war

Raid hospital ward

Bereft respect

Dispensing pain

Like acid rain

Rioting police

Obstruct procession

Berserk with hate

Horse hooves drumming

In-human boots

Truncheons flaying

Erupt disrupt

Funeral march

Beating mourners

Breaking bones

Battering hearse

Bash the casket…

Freezing time

In the maelstrom

Coffin slanting

Crazily

Hold on

Steadfast

Sumud

Inhale exhale

Under blows

Of frenzied foes

One more heave

Onto shoulders

Never give up

Sumud

Homage

Serenity

The church

The cemetery

Where faithful tread

The Hallowed Way

Laid to rest

In tender peace

Tears shed

Solidarity spread

Shireen

People’s voice

People’s eye

Twenty-five years

Witness for the nation

Mentor to each generation

And loved as such

Along and beyond freedom road

Narrating

Recording

Repression

Resistance

Texture of trail

Homes bulldozed

Groves destroyed

Plundered land

Apartheid walls

Water theft

Lives wrecked

Widows bereft

Dispossessed

Heads erect

The youth on fire

Intifada

Sumud

Around her head

Phosphorous bombs

Piercing lead

Innocence dead

People risen

Midst settler mobs

Fearless calm

Truth spread

Intifada

Sumud

Shireen in death

Infusing light

Undying presence

Uplifting night

Birthing life

Onto victory

Legacy bright

Intifada

Sumud

Children laugh

Swim and play

Refugees home

Prisoners free

From River to Sea

Sabra Shatila

Gaza Galilee

Insha’Allah

Sumud

Olive trees

Distilling breeze

Shireen

Adored

A priceless queen

Shireen Jenin Sumud

 Ronnie Kasrils, veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle, and South Africa’s former Minister for Intelligence Services, activist and author. He contributed this piece to The Palestine Chronicle

This poem first appeared :https://www.palestinechronicle.com/street-jenin-a-poem/

 

Author: Ronnie KasrilsFormer South African Government Minister, Founder of the 'Not in My Name' Campaign, and Russell Tribunal on Palestine juror