The P Word a poem by Abby Caplin


“The P Word”

 

See,

I had a

hard time

writing

the word

Palestinian.

It stops

civil discourse

for Jews.

To say

the “P” word

during war,

means

you

are

a

traitor.

 

In a recent short

at the Jewish

Film Festival,

a granddaughter reads

her film script

to her grandparents,

who fought

in the Jewish

underground

army

in 1948.

In their hallway

hangs a mirror

which was plundered,

No, “taken,”

corrects her grandfather,

from a Palestinian,

No, “Arab,”

corrects her grandmother,

home.

What is the

difference?

she asks.

It doesn’t sound

so good,

they say,

we called them

Arabs.

OK, but is it

not true?

I want to

talk about

the mirror.

Yes, but “taken” is

a better word,

or maybe bought,

but plundered?

No.

 

Probably Germans

don’t like

that word,

either,

better to say

the feather bed was

“taken” from

Jewish persons.

 

Did you ever

hear a Gentile

say the word

Jew?

They don’t.

“Jews” are

evil.

“He Jewed me down.”

They always say

“Jewish person,”

thinking Jews

refer to

themselves

this way.

They don’t.

Jews see

themselves

as people

victimized

by Christians,

Nazis,

Muslims, too.

Studious,

sweet-humored.

People with

good ethics.

This is not

an embarrassment.

 

So why

does my brother

whisper

to say

the cab driver

is

Palestinian?

 

When the Second Temple

was destroyed

in 70 A.D.,

our people

went into exile,

for the second

time.

Some of us

stayed.

Jews of Eastern

European

descent

share

up to eighty

percent

of their genetic

markers

with

Palestinians,

their

closest

relatives.

 

Some still light

candles on

Friday nights.

 

 

Abby Caplin

Copyright 2014

 
tags: Israel/Palestine   
Tip Jar Email Bookmark and Share RSS Print
Get Tikkun by Email -- FREE

COMMENT POLICY Please read our comment policy in full here which requests civility and sticking to the topic. We reserve the right to remove any comment for any reason.

One Response to The P Word a poem by Abby Caplin

  1. Pamela Pappas August 9, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    Abby,

    I love this poem you have written. It’s much needed during times like these.

    Shalom,
    Pam

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*