Upon Finishing The Book of Mev by Sandra Tamari

by Mark Chmiel

Am I deserving of that kind of love?
Would she have been my friend?
Would she have had kids by now?
What happened to the cats?

Waiting for Jad’s Tae Kwon Do
to let out
Tired suburban parents yawn
and comment about all they need to do for Christmas
rather than all they need to do for Christ
12-foot plastic trees don’t go up by themselves
I want to shove one of Mev’s photos–
the one of the beautiful boy from Chiapas–
under their noses
and tell them
Wake Up! We are the Eyes of the World.

Chipas Child
Holy child; Chiapas, Mexico; 1983 Mev Puleo

I want Arco Angels of my own
I want to have long discussions over wine and chocolate
with Mev and Mark
I want to be good
I want to be worthy
I want to live my life fully
rather than tell kids with big hopes that
they don’t
make the cut
for the American dream

Suffering can be beautiful
Why have I avoided it?
I will look at suffering in Gaza
and witness the beauty and the dignity
and the sorrow and the sadness
and I will be better for it.

–Sandra Tamari is soon to join the Gaza Freedom March in Palestine.

Gaza graduationn
Kindergarten graduate, Latin Patriarchate School; Gaza; 1997 Mary Kate MacIsaac