Around the time of late
afternoon call to prayer,
a herd of goats entered the village,
ears and bells swinging.
Long, silky ears moving back and forth;
bells making a song that was
less ding and more dong.
The goatherd walked alongside,
a man in his forties, maybe,
maybe older, wearing brown trousers,
a grey shirt, as if called from
his desk to guide the goats home.
We stood still as they passed,
watching them as they watched us,
wondering what else they had
witnessed that day, nimble, curious
creatures foraging for feed up and
down stony hillsides while farmers
harvested olives under the eye of
settlers and soldiers, of
wire and fence and wall.
The deep red soil of the
olive groves turns darker
with every passing day,
with every passing year.
Goats come and go to the village,
fewer now, two herds where
once there were twenty.