2016 12 14
Amid the broken rubble of stone homes,
blasted into fragments by falling bombs,
the little girl in a brown tattered dress
clutches a dead tabby cat to her breast.
Strands of black hair curl on her blood-stained cheek
and black eyes dart like bees looking for flowers
while she steps gingerly among cracked stones
in dusty dawn that mutes her songless voice.
Staring at the splintered wall of a mosque,
stained with blood of bodies blasted by bombs,
she sees the face of her mother, who called
her name for dinner, vanish in blue shadow.
Bright among tangled wires and split concrete
an orange and a gilded Koran gleam, lit
by the indifferent sun of numb hope,
so she grasps the orange and sniffs its tart skin.
Slipping out through a narrow alleyway,
she sits on small patch of brown grass and weeds
by the yellow river, and lays her cat
with tender care by an Oregano bush.
White blossoms smile in the red morning sun,
and two warblers talk about light on water,
as the young girl washes blood off her cheek
then peels and eats the sweet succulent orange.