Thursday, 2 April 2015

When there are (almost) no words

The photo below is now famous and rightly so - it shows a four-year old girl in a refugee camp, displaced by the Syrian Civil War, surrendering to a long-lens camera because she thinks it is a gun. There are almost no words for how wong this is, and in how many ways, nor for how angry it makes me (and many, many others). Almost. But it was suggested as a prompt by I am not a silent poet after much discussion about it on their facebook page and so I tried to articulate my anger...

In Atman Camp

I see you, power-hungry man,
stomach full of
belligerence and bile.
I see your guns and tanks,
their barrels,
your ill-concealed excitement
and over-compensation.
I see the lists of dead and wounded,
missing, disappeared,
bodies empty as shell-casings
swept into drifts,
their blue lips
your Viagra kiss.
I see the conquered territory
you piss on,
a few feet here,
a few feet there –
and I feel its never-again
poppy-strewn familiarity.
I see your callow excuses
for why you need a war
and why the suffering,
not yours,
is worth it.

I see all this
in the eyes of Adi Hudea,
one tiny refugee
surrendering to a more benevolent
sort of shot
than the one that took her father,
massacred at Hama.
I see her innocence
taken in infancy,
I see what you have done,
you and all your kind,
and I call you out.

Photo by Osman Sağırlı

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