Monday, December 7, 2015

On the child-victims of drone-wars


Maryam Sakeenah

Child of war!
If you could speak
From your midget-coffin...
If your sweet voice could carry through 
Your little mouth 
Cavernous and hollowed out by death,
Encrusted with old blood
Stopped in its tracks between pearly new teeth
That once shone when your rosy face blossomed into smiles;
Or enlivened with laughter
Over some little silliness, some little surprise-
Those little things, before scary big things took over-
Big feuds between little people over little things
Made to seem big.

If you could speak
From beneath the settling dust of oblivion
Falling, falling quietly over hearts-
You'd speak of
When the sky lit up with fires
Malevolent and blind; raining death
Leaving the trail of bloodied corpses
And shellshocked mourners,
And often, battered little bodies
Timorous and traumatized,
Confounded by unanswered questions.

You'd speak of 
The desperate, endless waiting
For a healing hand-
Perhaps mummy's finger to cling on to,
A warm breath to reassure
"It'll be all right"-
But the breath was cold, 
The hand lifeless and brittle.

You'd speak of 
The stinging, deep pain 
Of a disconsolate helplessness
And the terrifying abyss of cruel questions
Hulking all around you 
Pressing upon your battered self,
Confounding your infantile senses.

You'd speak of 
How death took so long to reach
As you writhed in your own blood.

If you could speak-
The layered silences 
Over the tiny mound of earth 
That shrouds you
Would be ripped through
By the still, small voice... 
Piercing, shattering, tearing, shuddering
To ask of us
An overwhelming question-