Her Late Rebellion

Haneen Abu Kheit


I’ve always wanted to know

how my mother felt about that flowery gold ring

covered with red stones my dad got her as a promise ring,

the one she gave me on my birthday last week,

saying it no longer fit her fingers

because her knuckles were swollen with hard labour.

Not that I don’t believe her,

but my mom is a collector, a preserver of memory,

she holds on to things, to clutter that resembles

memories she’s not ready to part from,

keeping them from the grip of time,

keeping her in the past,

or maybe trying to get past

things she has long buried.

Why did she give up that ring?

I can’t quite remember what I told her

but I recall muttering something under my breath,

thanking her, astonished, thinking to myself

people change, I suppose.

Or maybe she just didn’t really like that ring.

Or perhaps the act of removing

that ring from her finger,

made her choke on the unfamiliar sense of control

I doubt she had ever felt until that very moment.


Haneen Abu Kheit, a 28-year-old Arab woman, grew up in Tira; a city in the Central District of Israel. She received her first degree in 2019 in Teaching English as a Foreign Language at Beit Berl College in Kfar Sava. Three years after, she received her master’s degree in English Literature with an emphasis on Creative Writing in Poetry (Shaindy Rudoff Program) at Bar-Ilan University. Currently, she aims to pursue and continue with her academic studies in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at Tel Aviv University.


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