Art Resist: The Shore by Rebecca Levi

THE SHORE: JULY 16, 2014
By Rebecca Levi.  Medellin, Colombia

I wrote this poem in July 2014, during the attacks on Gaza. Four children were killed by Israel while playing on the beach. Since then, we have watched many more children die, from Alan Kurdi on a Turkish beach to Ahmad and Aya, nine-month-old twins killed in the most recent chemical attack in Syria. Our government is implicit in these deaths, as well as many more. We must demand the end to interventionist foreign policy and perpetual war.

First light.
Families rise,
count their young,
unmask the baking
concrete sun.

Four cousins swat flies,
ninth day in a row.

A look—they’re out.
Past fathers’ old nets,
they slip to the sea,
to the hut on the beach
built for hide-and-seek.

Black water, quiet water.
A boat.
A lens.
A muttered command.

The hut explodes.
The eldest shouts
(mother would scold),
cousins fly out
of the smoking shack,
almost getting away.
Almost giggling.

Again, the command.
They fall on the surf,
curls covered in sand,
wet cotton shirts.

Black sky, mute sky.
A woman,
hands clasped.
One, two, three, four sunken shadows.


Rebecca is a musician, poet, writer, and teacher who lives in Medellín, Colombia.

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