The world has given you the burden of holding a tragedy in your small hands.

Your innocence ripped away in a barren land,

You wake up to the sounds of bombs instead of birds;

And your voice pleads such silenced words.

I’m sorry;

That your mothers tell you everything will be okay.

But in your heart you know that the screams and beatings won’t ever go away.

Your home is of ashes now.

And being arrested for playing is just normal somehow;

Laughter is just a mere and idle dream,

Smiles are unacceptable and you don’t even know what that means.

Men with guns point at you,

You tug on to the man’s vest,

You’re confused, and you plead to the man, “my mother is calling

But the man doesn’t listen… you know what happens next.

And so for the sinners’ anniversary of violence,

The world gives you the gift of silence.

I’m sorry.

That your innocent eyes are filled with grief.

That your lifespan is too brief.

That you sit alone seeing your friends being dumped into rivers and buried in their graves.

Praying and grieving makes you remember their beloved names,

And for your education you count bodies like 1, 2, 3…

And for learning the ABC’s…

A for the army coming your way

B for bending down to rest flowers at sister’s grave

C for corruption everyday

Angels crying!

You see thousands dying!

How much more can you bear the missiles flying?

How long can you take the demons, horrifying?

Your mother prays for you to sleep silently in bed. 

Not worrying about the next day, if you’ll be dead.

She yearns for the day where you are happy and no longer in need to run.

Where your father could finally live in peace with his son.

So go back, child! Your mother is calling!

How does it feel to die before your fifth birthday?

Tell me! Did you ever see the world in a nice way?

Did you ever see anything that made you want to stay?

Before you know it you’re lying down facing the sky.

An angel smiles and assures you… “don’t worry child, they shall taste death too”

But you’re just a child, with your years very few…

You plead to God to not take you yet for your mother is crying.

But it is too late.

Mother kisses your forehead to say one final goodbye.

Her last words to you were, “I hope you will finally see the butterflies,”

Oh beloved child…

Today… I gift you the song of liberation…

“From the river 

To the sea,

Palestine will be 

Free…”

Featured image via UNICEF

About the Author

Fatima Jafri

Fatima Jafri loves to analyze social issues in a different perspective. She aspires to pursue a career in social sciences and journalism. In her free time, she writes poetry and reads memoirs. She hopes one day that her writing will help someone be more vulnerable when understanding society.

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