New Poetry by Yael Hacohen

IDF, soldier, military, israel


Seven times I’ve been to the Wall
to scribble my prayers
and fold them into
the seams in the yellow stones.
The walls of Jericho fell on the seventh
so I elbow my way through the crowd
to put my ear to the stones
and hear the horses surround them,
but the wail of sirens drown out the hooves
the herds disperse from the plaza
and I forsake the Wall
to let it stand on its own
an ancient olive tree
straining against its plot in the dirt.


Pre Traumatic

The first time I shot an M-16‎
it was the heat of summer in the Negev. ‎
Gas-operated with a rotating bolt, ‎
five-point-fifty six caliber, ‎
with nineteen bullets a box. ‎
I could shoot like an angel,‎
I could hit a running target ‎
at six-hundred-fifty meters. ‎
I cried the first time.‎
I was eighteen.
Already, my hair in a bun.
You didn’t stand
a chance.‎


Photo Credit: Friends of the IDF
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Yael Hacohen

Yael Hacohen has an MFA in Poetry at New York University where she was an Adjunct Professor, an NYU Veterans Workshop Fellow, and International Editor at Washington Square Review. Her poems appear in The Poetry Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Every Day Poets Magazine, Nine Lines Literary Review, and many more. She was a finalist in the 2015 Glimmer Train Very Short Story Competition, Consequence Poetry Prize, and the 2013 MSLexia Poetry Prize for Women. In the fall of 2017, she will begin her PhD in Rhetoric at UC Berkeley.

1 Comment
  1. I love your nation. I love your words. I love your humanity. Be blest. Be graced. Keep writing so we can find it.

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