Stories

A Poem for Sami Abu Diak

Palestinian prisoner Sami Abu Diak, who was suffering from intestinal cancer, died in prison November 26. His petitions to receive treatment outside of prison, and then to die at home, were denied. Abu Diak was detained in 2002 and was sentenced to triple life terms plus 30 years, of which he spent 17 years behind bars before his death. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2015 and his condition began to deteriorate as a result of medical mistakes by the Israeli Soroka Hospital, where he underwent surgery to remove 83 cm of his large intestine.

My mouth is dry,
my body weak,
my hands cuffed.
Looking at the walls
around me,
seeing the face of my mother,
I feel the sting of
hot tears on my cheeks.

He comes to me,
looking like an old man,
with silver hair and beard,
wearing a black robe.
Is he crying?
From the first sight
I recognize he is death.

I sigh and try opening
my cuffed hands to welcome him.
The metal bands cut into my skin,
reminding me I am not in control
of death or life.
I died while cuffed inside prison walls.
This is the existence of Palestinians
whether alive or dead.

(Source: We Are Not Numbers)

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