Poem: ‘In Gaza’

In Gaza, children,
you learn that the sky kills
and that houses hurt.
You learn that your blanket is smoke
and breakfast is dirt.

You learn that cars do somersaults
clothes turn red,
friends become statues,
bakers don’t sell bread.

You learn that the night is a gun,
that toys burn
breath can stop,
it could be your turn.

You learn:
if they send you fire
they couldn’t guess:
not just the soldier dies —
it’s you and the rest.

Nowhere to run,
nowhere to go,
nowhere to hide
in the home you know.

You learn
that death isn’t life,
that air isn’t bread,
the land is for all.
You have the right to be
Not Dead.

Michael Rosen has been writing and publishing books since 1969. He was made the UK’s Children’s Laureate for 2007-2009 and spends a lot of time performing his poetry in schools, libraries, and theatres. He is also a broadcaster and university teacher. His website is www.michaelrosen.co.uk.