The Last Time I Saw Tel Aviv


The young men and women looked lean and strong
riding together on e-scooters.

Standing close on e-scooters, like spooning lovers, weaving
through traffic. No need to hunt for parking spots.

No need to hunt for non-existent parking in this city without a trolley.
A chain with a lock on the sidewalk will do.

Chained, locked scooters lying on sidewalks by cafés
serving salads tasting like sea and sunshine.

Cafés serving sun by the azure sea.
Open early to fuel office workers, late for flirting.

Open early to fuel start-up nation, late to feed the hungers
of young flesh. But today, no one sits.

No one sits where youth in green uniforms tune tanks.
The young men and women are lean, tight-lipped.

About the Poem

This poem is written in a modified duplex structure: seven stanzas, each a couplet, with repeating lines. It was inspired by the young Israelis I saw enjoying themselves in Tel Aviv in April 2023. Surely some of them are among the soldiers called to serve on the Gaza border, knowing they may not come back alive.

About the Author

Jacqueline Coleman-Fried is a poet living in Tuckahoe, NY. Her work has appeared in Topical Poetry, New Verse News, The Orchards Poetry Journal, Sparks of Calliope, Quartet Journal, and soon, Consequence and HerWords Magazine.

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