A Poem For A Collective Painful Time

October 21, 2023

by Hagar Harpak

What a painful time this is

How heavy the heart feels

How murky the mind full of fears 

How foggy the eyes

From tears

As we see 

The horrors

The violence

As we watch and feel 

How division grows

As we read pieces with

perspectives steeped in


Rooted in ignorance

Or knowledge of just tiny parts 

That limit the view

Of the 


This morning I snuggled my six year old

Cradled him in my arms

As I do every day when I wake him up

To go to school

His sweet smile and super soft skin

Filled my grief with


I closed my eyes and smelled his head

As I did when he was just a tiny babe

I felt grateful

And it felt painful

My child is healthy and whole

He’s in my arms

And all of a sudden he was 

One of the children kidnapped by Hamas

In the tunnel

In the dark

Tied up

Away from home

I held him close and the tears


And all of a sudden he was a Palestinian kid

With blood running down his face

Limp body

Is he alive?

And the anguish turned unbearable

I held him close

And then he was

One of the terrorists when he was just

A little kid

This morning 

I climbed up the bunk bed ladder

To snuggle my almost 11 year old girl

And welcome her into a new day

It’s our usual morning routine

She refuses to get up

And then I tickle her 

and she tickles me 

And we giggle

I closed my eyes 

And she was one of the young women 

Kidnapped by Hamas

My heart couldn’t take it

What is she going through right now?

I held her close

She’s safe

What are those women

Down in the tunnel

What are they going through?

I hugged her close

And the tears

She was the daughter of the father

who was kidnapped by Hamas

And she was the sister of the boy

Who will never come back

And then she was a Palestinian 


And the child wasn’t

And she was the mother 

Of a terrorist 

when he was just a little child

If you need a little support for your nervous system right now, check out this free yoga practice for difficult times.

And if yo’d like to go deeper into the darkness of the season, and immerse yourself in a mythopoetic exploration of death, decay, grief, and gratitude, and dive into embodied ritual to inspire, empower, and enchant your life, join us for the Samhain Somatic Ceremony. All the details are here.

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