Weekly Ritual Plea

to stand in a sea of safe bodies

who’ve eaten breakfast, who look for parking

or a sale on winter jackets;

each Sunday we gather, shoulders touching

voices tilted to God, to the East or the fathoms

of sky. does it listen to our


the same sky in Gaza

rains white phosphorous on

unanesthetized bodies,

empties taxes like Hiroshimas

on men in threadbare t shirts

shielding their children among blasted


the flash of a drone. snow comes,

we shout freedom up glaring buildings

to God and a gathering dark. We jeer,

we reason - is that drone


a blizzard

of warnings: “your home is not safe.

leave everything and walk south.”

the same southern sky that watches

children of empire turn infants

to a pile of cooling flesh in the road,

their mothers shaking at gunpoint


At sundown keffiyehs are placed

on the road and hundreds bow

themselves to the East, to Allah

to kneel and plead for air.

Every Sunday I go

with tens of thousands

to pray for peace.

Almost everyone listens.

Liam Walke