In the summer of 2014 at least 500 Gazan children were killed by the Israeli military.
In the middle of the conflict, Israeli human rights group B’TSelem wanted to read some of the victims’ names on the radio, but was banned from doing so by authorities who said it would be “politically controversial.”
As I lit Jewish Sabbath candles with my own children, I held these others in mind.

For Joujou, who was sleeping
For Amil, who wanted breakfast
For Suha, who held a stuffed dog
For Ranim and Hana, who held hands

For Walid, who loved seashells
For Aisha, who could run
For Mohammad, who built great forts
For Fatima, who could sing

For Kadeem, whose tooth was wiggly
For Mahmoud, whose tummy ached
For Bassim, who missed his grandma
For Yousef, who had bad dreams

And for all the many others
Twenty-five Newtowns, if not more
Let a sea of light surround them

Light a flame
Breathe a prayer
Bless their names


To hear Kimberly read this poem, click here:

Kimberly Gladman Jackson is the author of Materfamilias (Tandeta Books, 2018) and Tesseract (Finishing Line Press, 2016).
You can connect with her on her website.

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