Friday, 7 October 2016

One hundred million eyes


My childhood was wax crayons and mint chocolates
And cool summer evenings spiced with lemonade
Bedrooms littered with infinite toys
And a promise
Of endless tomorrows.
All because I happened to drop into a perfect family
in a sheltered town of a peaceful country.
I did not know not everyone is that lucky.

I did not know my parents could be ripped apart
From my life in a heartbeat.
I did not know I could return one day
To a house abandoned, its walls pockmarked
With shrapnel.
I did not know the torment of waiting for word
Telling me I could still curl up in my dad’s arms.
I did not know warm bodies turn cold
And the way to stop oozing blood is tying
A tourniquet.
I did not know brick walls could crumble
(I only ever saw dominos toppling)
I did not know the tenor of an adult’s cry 
Or the sound a bomb makes as it
Drops.
I did not know that oceans could be braved
On stormy nights in rubber boats that reek of woe
I did not know clear skies could be foreboding  
Or that a thousand feet up, airplanes lug
death .

I did not know fifty million children endure my nightmares.
One hundred million eyes subdued by shadows of a past that burns
and a future that suffocates.
One hundred million eyes, watching and waiting and wishing.

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