”And wondering about our persistence to live”

By  Mohammed  M,  Gaza,  Palestine

I went to the market, for an emergency.
Quickly, I got dressed. I don’t know why
I didn’t look back
at the mirror this time,
As I usually do.
Habitually I check myself in the mirror
once and twice
Before I go out.
This has nothing to do with my looks.
But, I am used to looking back at myself in the mirror several times to watch my features.
I closed the house door but it was as if my hand clung to the exterior.
Drained streets!
People shopping in a hurry.
Sellers shutting up the shops in a hurry, too.
To God,
In silence, I prayed.
To get back home safely
So, I wouldn’t miss myself in the mirror.
To me, what was bewildering, was people’s desire to live.
Their persistence to live.
The voice of the fruit seller crossing our street last night
Still stuck with me
How he can ramble
To sell oranges
In spite of the buzzing of drones
Continuous shelling
I heard his voice over and over in the morning in the noon and when I got out the car
To cross the street
There were many salespeople, too
normal people smiling
others buying things
And wondering about the cost price of cuts
a redhead lady looked like my French friend
Smiling at me every time our eyes meet
Young women jogging to cross the street before the traffic light turned green and me at home, opening my eyes
And wondering about our persistence to live.

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