For Rachel Corrie
Killed attempting to stop a bulldozer, Gaza, 3.16.03
Your hijab could almost be the black habit, your flag worthy of a forever stamp the way it looked as though it hurt you, as though it burned your fingers. I can still admire its hurried execution, as though you had only minutes to spare, and the crisscross eyes of its protest, the crude stars. And how it could never wave or one would look ridiculous doing so like those flags we all had to glue to a pole made of popsicle sticks or tongue depressors, for Flag Day, which we made from strips of colored construction paper. Mine had cotton ball for stars rather than the silver foil stars Sr. Maria provided. Those stars, to my way of thinking, were only for achievement, for the deserving. But I know by just looking at you, Rachel Corrie, in your other photographs too the one of you wearing your paper dove’s head at Burning Man that you would have approved of cotton balls, which I would have told you in all honesty were “clouds” or “smoke signals” had you been the youngest and prettiest of the nuns, looking over my shoulder three lifetimes ago, when my mother wore a Goldwater button the size of a lost hubcap. The only thing I could say ever rolled over me.
JAMES REIDEL has published poems in many journals as well as Jim’s Book (Black Lawrence Press 2014) and My Window Seat for Arlena Twigg (Black Lawrence 2006). He has published his most recent work in Poetry Magazine, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Hawai’i Review, Outsider Poetry, Fiction Southwest and elsewhere. He is also the biographer of the poet Weldon Kees and a translator who has published works by Thomas Bernhard (most recently in the May 2016 issue of Harper’s), Georg Trakl, Franz Werfel, and Robert Walser. He is currently writing a collection of prose poems. In 2013, he was a James Merrill House fellow. twitter: @jamesreidel
Susan Solomon is a freelance paintress living in the beautiful Twin Cities area of Minneapolis/Saint Paul. She loves working with poets and short story writers, painting impressions of their words. Her site is www.susansolomonpainter.com twitter: @solomon_painter