Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Visit to Mount Bental, Israel

Mt. Bental Observation Point
Photo credit:

Israel Pilgrimage—2006

We drive up and up
to what seems to be
the top of the world
and when we can drive
no farther, we walk
to the observation deck
of an old bunker
atop Mount Bental
in the Golan

Black silhouettes—
metal die cut-outs
of armed soldiers
rifles cocked and ready
are strategically situated
at the summit
to warn of Israel’s surefire preparedness
against any who would attack
the apple of God’s eye

like those vigilant
floppy-hatted scarecrows
stuffed with straw
poised to protect our crops
like the flat black metal hound dogs
I’ve seen wired to fences
in cemeteries and parks
to chase the Canada geese

Col. Shalom tells us
when he was twenty
he was given command
of sixty-four men, his age
It was here—
It was 1967
It was the Six Day War

2000 tanks
from Syria, Jordan
Egypt and Iraq 
versus Israel’s 200

Israel was victorious
It was miraculous

…and yet
he still hears
haunting cries in the night
of a wounded brother soldier

Maude Carolan Pych

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