BY LYN BARZILAI
MARCH 19TH, 2003
It's seven o'clock and getting dark.
All day the skies were yellow, thick with sand.
Now the rain has come, streaking windows
with muddy drops.
We are on our way home in the car
after a family barbecue for Purim,
festival of masks and costumes.
Our CD plays its politics: the song about Abed
and his donkey, patient at the crossroads, selling
orange crush and sunflower seeds to passing drivers.
Now on the other side of the road the cars
with the white eyes of their headlamps
stream towards us: drivers like ourselves
going home to hear the news.
Bush's ultimatum to Saddam
has thirty-two more hours to go.
Acros the Gulf skies, static crackles.
In Baghdad people are closing shop,
hanging up keys, going home to close their shutters.
This morning's sandstorm, whipping through the streets of Tel-Aviv,
will move across the border:
tomorrow, winds of sand will blow across Kuwait.
Behind me in the back seat, with her headphones on,
my daughter listens to her favourite songs,
while all the gaudy road signs fly past in the dark.