“LITTLE BOY WAR
He stands alone
On a vacant road,
Hands shaking from the cold.
His heart is aching from the untold.
Under his right arm
Is a tattered bag,
Which he holds tightly
As if it were filled with gold.
He’s just six,
Going on seven.
And it’s past ten,
Going on eleven.
He takes another toke
From his cowboy smoke,
And wishes he too
Could have died with his brother
And taken the ride to
His tummy rumbles and grumbles.
He feels faint and tries hard not to stumble.
His eyes scream with muted cries,
Too loud for his tired soul to conjure enough energy
To even mumble.
Little kid scared,
Alone in the middle of a war zone somewhere,
Past curfew and without a clue
As to what to do or to go where.
He is just standing there with
A shark’s glazed and
His eyes reveal a whirlpool of disaster,
Just another tragic kid
Who can’t help growing up any faster.
The streets are dark and it’s just him,
Standing in the shadow of a blinking ATM.
He now thinks of his worn mother,
And how she once took his torn shirt
And lovingly sewn its hem back together.
He never understood
Why she had always told him:
“Buckle your sandals!”
She used to call,
“Buckle them good
So you walk right and
Stand 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 sandals
At the sand
Trying to understand
What Uncle Sam
And his freedom plan
Had done to his once beautiful land.
Babylon is crashing.
In front of him, memories are flashing –
Rubble, ash, blood, and dust,
An empire once fueled with beauty and gust
Now buried under artillery, bones, and rust.
In the corner of his eye,
He sees a tank suddenly appear
He tries to focus on its lights
Like a lost and rampant deer
Then that chilling electric sound
Cuts and pierces through his ears
The tank stops.
A lady emerges from its top,
And examines the boy and sneers.
She asks him what he is doing outside by himself
And warns him that there are now new rules
That all must adhere.
But Little Boy War
A drip of fear.
He swings his precious bag high up in the air
“I’m not alone!
My mother is in here!”
I watched from a distance
Then turn away to disappear
My heart felt like a cold rock
And I couldn’t control my tears.
Behind my back
And in my mind
The little boy’s
Words echo forever
“In here and always near.
Her hands and heart are right here!”
Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem