The nameless child
Photo: George Hodan, “Sad Boy”
The bomb that fell flattened his world,
And drew corridors of fire
That led everywhere and nowhere,
Toward a future that kept hanging.
The tearless silence was floating,
Dressed with silk black cap,
As faith was rewriting the lists
For new havens.
His eyes were closed, but it was bright inside,
He remembered the taste of chocolate
And how he ran up and down the hills
Over the desert.
He will soon hear the others,
Crawling like him, on their canes of hope,
Their skills got sharper every time.
He’ll join them in the quest for
Their food for tomorrow:
Wild mushrooms and rabbits.
Sometimes they will go by the airfield,
Wondering loud where the storks were,
And why was their place taken by uniformed men.
He felt his body burning,
Heard shouting, faint, then rising,
He smelled his father pomade and felt the clutching of his arms.
He was tired of running in a race that had no stopwatch,
Besides he already won,
Of all the things, this war has never been able to embargo his dreams.
This is a poem I have written few years ago. Like everything I write( like everything that we writers write), there is a story behind it. Back then I was doing field work in Jordan about war refugees, and I was spending time listening to Syrian war refugees recounting their stories. Some of them had their children around when I was taking their interview. I was struck, I knew war from far away but this was a first account, as close as I could get. I would finish the interviews, and then I’d go transcribe and I would feel these people, and their pain even more than I didn’t before. Their faces would come to mind. This poem is about one of those faces.
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