On seeing a picture, not necessarily from Gaza, of an armed soldier hiding in a doorway, with two children in the street nearby, "unicef193-0634 / betty press"
Crazy paving, crazy wall,
Concrete floors. When curfews fall
F-sixteens will come to call.
Rocket bye baby, the cradle will fall;
Down will come gunmen, mothers and all.
Iron shutters, iron gates.
Out of sight, a soldier waits
On girl and toddler, under eights.
The elder with her friend debates
Oblivious to their future fates.
Not the chosen, not the just,
They are children of the dust,
When hovels with no papers must
Be razed in order to adjust
Collateral in a stateside trust.
Hush little baby, take your rest;
Papa's gonna buy you a suicide vest.
And if that suicide vest don't blow,
Papa's gonna make you a bomb to throw.
And if that bomb won't kill someone,
Papa's gonna get you a tommy gun.
And if that tommy gun goes wrong,
Papa's gonna build you an atom bomb.
And if that atom bomb won't blast,
Papa's gonna make you a plague to cast.
And if that plague turns back on us,
Papa's gonna buy you a house of dust.
And then before the sun goes down,
You'll look sweet on every wall in town.
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Author's note: When I was writing the second one I forgot that I already had one called "Lullaby of Gaza". So it became a series (of two). S.J.M.