What She Said

A woman on a plane said No!

We didn’t want your bombs 
and guns. We didn’t want them 
setting up camps
making secret plans
crisscrossing our mountains
dressed in combat gear.

Those helicopters scared us.

We wanted girls in school, yes,
freedom for women, always,
how can there not be freedom
for the source of life?
But more war, battles, 
years of dead villagers 
sprawled under 
pine nut trees, why?
Why not simpler things,
more schools,
larger hospitals,

There would have been
Better things to do. 

Copyright © 2022 by Naomi Shihab Nye. This poem originally appeared in Tikkun, September 10, 2021. Used with permission of the author.