“The Olive Tree” by Leena al-Binni
November 8, 2023
The sun beats down, hot as fire, as hatred burns with a fierce desire. The olive trees weep, their branches low, as death and destruction continue to grow. They now stand as silent witnesses to this land, whose roots go deep, whose branches wide, yet they too have suffered and died.
The land is a canvas, a masterpiece of strife, a mosaic of cultures, a colorful life, yet the hues have blurred, and the colors run like bullets escaping from a gun.
The land is a heart, it beats with emotion, pounding with anger, with every explosion, The pulse of the people, the rage of the crowd, their voices drowned in a sea of sound.
The cries, young and old, echo through streets, once vibrant and bold.
The air is thick with smoke and dust, as bombs rain down, turning cities to rust. The soil beneath their feet is red, as blood is spilled for every shred of territory, each inch of land, both sides fiercely make their stand.
Hope flickers like a dying flame, as peace remains a far-off aim.
This poem was written by Leena al-Binni, as a 9th grader at Roosevelt High School with WITS Writer-In-Residence Jay Thompson. Performed at the Seattle Arts & Lectures Encore series featuring Viet Thanh Nguyen on November 8, 2023, at Town Hall.