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Elana Bell
Elana Bell
The grandchild of Holocaust survivors, Elana Bell was selected by Fanny Howe to receive the 2011 Walt Whitman Award for her manuscript Eyes, Stones...
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Naming the land

 
by Elana Bell

Because we named the land in blood and ink
and everything held by the land
to our use     we named—
                                        dirty with the name—

because we bought this land
when ash became sky
and the smell of burning
                              drifted

because my grandmother dreamed it
instead of eating death
and now new trees 
grow over the graves

because the ruined promise
because two pounds of shrapnel drawn from Noams back
because Salim's house forced open like a jaw
a bag of pita scattered where the kitchen was

because we can survive in any soil
like rats
because until the end of the world
we will scratch out the name






Copyright © 2011 by Elana Bell. Used by permission of the author.
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