Magazine article World Literature Today

To the Children of War

Magazine article World Literature Today

To the Children of War

Article excerpt

Mornings, they run from the dark

along the length of the seashore.

Like an iron sword beaten by a blacksmith, the sun reddens

as their feet strike the ground.

Someone's voice floods your ears -

They reproach you again:

the other children's eyes fill with tears

and your chest heaves.

But you are happy:

It's another day, and the sunlight

has pulled you, running, from your hiding place.

Every day at this time, barbed wire pressed to the chest,

a song plays, and somebody sings. I cry out:

I bring a kaman, an anthem for you,

and, if anyone can be roused to help,

I will bring bread baked in the biggest of tendir ovens.

Sometimes your wire-torn knees ache;

you want to beg, fall to your knees before someone -

and you know who they are.

You confess as if you are the guilty one

Closing your eyes to the spirit of childhood:

I caught myself on the barbed wire

Playing, jumping up and down. …

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