To My Palestinian Hero

Belinda Subraman

Jordan:
machine gun dreams by the Dead Sea,
hyper reality near the bones of Moses.
Every mile there were guards and guns.
I had forgotten my passport in tribal lands.
A Texas license saved me
and a guard who would rather eat lunch
than create paperwork with explanations
and clean up blood.

I floated in 2 inches of melted salt
that became sticky crystals in my hair:
Biblical dandruff,
movable seasoning,
Lot’s wife in defiance.

A Palestinian at the Golan Heights
near the Syrian border saved us.
He spoke Arabic to our driver.
There was animated conversation
then the Palestinian began
speaking English to us.
He said our driver planned
to abandon us
just past the Syrian border.
We had trusted him.
We bought his lunch at the Dead Sea
laughed at each other’s pantomime.
Now everything changed.
He knew we knew.
We asked to be taken to Amman,
back to the American Study Center
where there were gates, 24 hour guards
with uniforms and automatics.
Maybe he thought we were diplomats
worth something somewhere….
a myth in a fairytale wrapped in a dream.
Just two RNs learning about refugees
planning to tell their stories to the world,
misunderstood by a refugee driver
working illegally
saved by a man whose country had been stolen
who saw the innocence of two white grannies
and revealed the plot to us.
To him, I am always grateful
even if this is my imagination.