LITTLE BOY WAR
He stands aloneOn a vacant roadHands shaking fromthe coldHis heart is achingFrom the untold
UnderHis right armIs a tattered bagWhich he holds tightlyAs if it were filledWith gold
He's just sixGoing on seven
And it's past tenGoing on eleven
He takes another tokeFrom his cowboy smoke
And wishesHe tooCould have died with his brotherAnd taken the rideto heaven.
His tummy rumblesAnd grumblesHe feels faintAnd tries hardNot to stumble
His eyes screamWith muted criesToo loud for his tired soulTo conjure enough energyTo even mumble.
Little kid scared
Alone in theMiddle of Iraqi nowhere
Past curfewWithout a clueAs to what to doOr to go where
Just standing there withA shark's glazed and lifeless stare
His eyes reveal a whirlpool of disasterJust another Iraqi kidWho can't helpGrowing up any fasterThe streets are darkAnd it's just him.Standing in the shadowOf a blinking ATM
He now thinks of his worn motherHow she once took his torn shirtAnd lovingly sewed its hem back togetherHe never understoodWhy she had always told him"Buckle your sandals"She used to call,"Buckle them goodSo you can walk right andStand taller than them all!"
So why did he feel so small?And why does he feel like he's about to fall?
He kicks his little sandalsAt the sandTrying to understandWhat Uncle SamAnd his freedom planHad done to his once beautiful land
is crashing. Babylon
In front of him memories are flashingRubble, ash, blood, and dustAn empire once fueled with beauty and gustNow buried under artillery, bones, and rust
In the corner of his eyeHe sees a tank suddenly appearHe tries to focus on its lightsLike a lost and rampant deerThen that chilling electric soundCuts and pierces through his ears
The tank stops.A lady emerges from its topAnd examines the boy and sneersShe asks what he is doing outside by himselfAnd tells him that there are rulesThat all must now adhere
But Little Boy
A drip of fear
He swings his precious bag high up in the airAnd cries,
"I'm not alone!Look! My mother is in here!"
I watched from a distanceThen turn away to disappearMy heart felt like a cold rockAnd I couldn't control my tears.
Behind my backAnd in my mindThe little boy'sWords echo foreverSo loudAnd clear…
"In here and always near.Her hands and heart are right here."
LITTLE BOY WAR by Suzy KassemTaken from Rise Up and Salute the Sun, 2010. First published in Truth is Crying, 2008.
Copyright 1994 - 2016. All rights reserved.
New writings are added at random. To be notified of new pieces to the collection, subscribe to the mailing list right here:\