Favorite Poem of the Day – “Praise Song for the Donkey” by Aracelis Girmay

by DBLevin

I figure this is appropriate given what’s going on.

for Lama & Haya & the donkey, killed by an Israeli missile in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza

“It was not possible to identify which parts belonged to the donkey & the girls”
     –Witness, Gaza, Palestine, 2009

Praise the Mohawk roof
of the donkey’s good & gray head, praise
its dangerous mane hollering out. Beneath
her soft & mournful gray, still beneath
the skull, where it is dusk, praise
the rooms of the donkey’s eye & brain,
its pulley & clang, this sound
of hooves & the girls still saying words.
Praise the girls still saying words,
praise the girls, their hands, the hooves
of their hearts hoofing against their opened chests
opened on the open road plainly, praise
the fat tongue’s memory of grass or hay,
the hundred nights of animal sleep
flung far from bodies, the sturdy houses of bones, all over
the decimated road where every thing is flying, praise
the deep, dark machine of the donkey’s eye,
the girl’s eye, like a movie-house crumbling
in a field outside of town—,
praise the houses & the rocks it held once, the sky
before & after the missile, praise the dark
& donkey soul crossing over, every one,
every hill & girl it ever saw, crossing over
in the red suitcase of its blood, into the earth,
praise the donkey earth, earth of girls,
earth of funerals & girls, praise the small,
black luggage of the donkey’s eye
in a field, flung far,
filling the ants & birds
with what
it saw.

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