War and Children


…Cambodia, Rwanda, Syria…
Wars never cease
on the earth. Peace is pulverized.

Each battle drags children into a
vortex of anguish
in the front line or at home. They

lose their butterflies among bombs
and bullets.
Pure rapture curls like mango peel

in tension. Tender lives tarnish.
Lullabies are
lost in the death rattle. Scattered

young blood stains history. The
voice from beneath
the headstone is not an auditory

hallucination, but a doleful echo
from a little soul.
The orphans get food in the refugee

camp, but where will they seek their
lost mom and dad?
Childhood charms are mutilated.

They’re prisoners of trauma. A
platoon of terror marches
through their mental corridors.

First published in "Humans in the Wild" anthology (Swallow Publishing).
Reprinted in "The Literary Hatchet" (Pear Tree Press).