Allenby Street | Literary Arts | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Allenby Street

Seven o'clock in the morning
jolted out of a dreamless sleep.

Ambulances chase to South Tel Aviv.
The sound of countless sirens.

the radio broadcaster announces
half a dozen killed, 
butchered with one sharp kitchen knife. 
The terrorist hacked them down 
as they waited for the bus. 

The next day I walk down my street. 
The blood all gone, 
cleaned up by the Chevrat Kaddisha. 

A shrine of flowers, candles lit, 
photographs of the ones lost. 

The pizzeria I work at 
employs Habib.
A Palestinian. 
He handles the sharp kitchen knives 
cuts the vegetables. 

Each time I turn my back 
I see the knife stab into my flesh. 

Habib only talks about his pregnant wife. 
He radiates love 
prays for a first born son. 
I am ashamed of my suspicion. 
The fear of knives though stays, 
as well as the fear of being in crowded places. 

My friend Ruven has a memory, too. 
His stomach turns 
each time he smells barbequed meat. 
He survived the Lebanon War. 
His best friends Yehuda, David and Ben 
did not escape the burning tank.


-- Dorit Brauer


Dorit Brauer grew up on a dairy farm in Germany's Lower Rhine Valley. She lived in Tel Aviv, Israel, from 1989-1997. She moved to the United States in 1998. She resides in Scott Township, practices holistic medicine and teaches meditation. Many writers featured in Chapter & Verse are guests of Prosody, produced by Jan Beatty and Ellen Wadey. Prosody airs every Tuesday at 7 p.m. on independent radio, WYEP 91.3 FM.