Syria’s children

by Lizz Murphy

The quiet of an infant
who understands nothing
of war or flight or why
he sleeps under just a jacket
Refugees crowding one side
police crowding the other
His eyes his chest
tomorrow’s tear gas burn

She survives the rocket
survives the roof falling
survives the brain hemorrhage
survives her jaw breaking
A girl silenced

All year they flop on filthy cardboard
backs to the wind hoods up for a whit
of warmth Grenades left behind
bodies of family She is afraid of ‘bad boys’
They are not safe on these streets either

She covers her face
with her headscarf
and a beautiful hand
Her sleeping infant
limp-limbed across her lap
Her grief as unshakeable
as the slammed iron gate

From an ekphrastic sequence in response to images from a photo-story by award winning photojournalist Magnum Wennman titled Where the Children Sleep published at Mashable Australia. My thanks to Magnum Wennman.

© Lizz Murphy 2017