Cages                                                     By John Flynn

The zebras screamed and snorted then lay dying in the clover
like a childhood’s riddle answered- Black and white and red all over
In the teargas and the terror there was nothing else to do
You could hear the battle raging all around the West Bank Zoo

A  giraffe scared by the gunfire, beat it’s head upon a wall
And as kids threw rocks at the soldiers, it fell dying in its stall
And black flies coated its body like a sense of the surreal
Like the little rubber jackets on the bullets made of steel

There are cages made of iron
There are cages made of hate
And the innocent are dying
everyday behind the gate

In the city of Alqilya there was one place children laughed
There was one place they could go to see a zebra or giraffe
Or a lioness from Africa or Nile crocodile,
Or mountain bear from Syria... Or see their parents smile
So zoo keepers from Israel as well as Palestine
are  called "collaborators" and place lives upon the line
With bandages and concrete they turn bullet holes to scars
As frightened monkeys tear off their own fingers in the bars

Of cages made of iron
Among cages made of hate
While innocence is dying
everyday behind the gate

And on a recent holiday an Arab child stands
In line down at the turnstile smiling, ticket in his hand
As careless as the hate that squeezes of another round
And one more blameless victim sanctifies this holy ground

Of cages made of iron
Among cages made of hate
The innocent keep dying
They’re on both sides of the gate

The zebras screamed and snorted then lay dying in the clover
like a childhood’s riddle answered- Black and white and red all over
Where the reasons to be hopeful have been far apart and few
Still  the battle goes on raging in a tiny West Bank Zoo


(c) 2004 Flying Stone Music