Nothing more lonely or solemn than prison.
But suddenly,

she learns of a heartbeat inside of her.
Fluttering gracefully.
They tried to force it out of the three darknesses.
But by God’s will
the heartbeats beat.
They beat nine months.
Then, labor.
The torment of labor in prison.
The pitiful heartbeat, born into this fate, imprisoned.
Born with brown hair,
Born with curiosity,
Born with captivity.
But he is the source of everyone’s joy.
Their new laughter,
their new toy.
Whose heart smiles not
at a child,
still at the beginning.
Innocent, unknowing of the oppression their world holds.
The bars of prison
is all he knows.
So he still crawls and plays,
pronounces unintelligible syllables.
Gives toothless smiles.
Sometimes, it’s better to know less.

This is Yousef.
A gift to the prisoners.
A gift of hope.
He is the beloved heartbeat
that gave vitality to all those in prison.
This is Yousef.
The unexpected relief.

*Also old, based on a true story in Palestine.


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