By Sara Moon

My mum/ Wadi Qana 
 
It wasn’t so long ago that we strolled hand in hand through the streets of Tel Aviv and swam in sea far warmer than our welsh dips 
         
Only last year we visited again, this time to the underbelly land,
on the wrong side of the wall,
land of olive trees on endless hills, milk, honey, startling black humour, hospitality
 
and a strangling occupation. 
 
We walk through Wadi Qana,
I introduce my mum to some of my Palestinian friends and of course the local mayor who has decided to join us.
 
They dedicate this walk on their land to my mother.
 
The buds have broken on the trees.
The land is beginning to sing. 
 
He gestures to the marks on the trees that are to be uprooted.
 
Wadi Qana, you see, is not meant to be an orchard livelihood depend on or the favourite picnic and camping spot for many Palestinians in this area, it is meant to be an Israeli nature reserve.
 
This is the West Bank, Palestine and already Israel’s national walking trail winds through it.

Colonizing beauty
when we could all have just had a picnic.  
 
You make a fire which snaps in the quiet mid-afternoon air.
The water boils.
The tea brews.
My mum hands out the vegan home-made cakes she bought from England.
She plays her ukulele,
my friends and the mayor sing along.
 
The land sings too, with all the fury and wail of what it is to be a land that is loved and lost
and the sun set shines on all the green trees like holy shimmer.
 
We didn’t get to swim in the sea that time.
I’m glad we didn’t, my mum said. It doesn’t seem right if they can’t.