The Kid from Al Houla

I am shrouded in white cloth
I can’t feel my hands,
with them I wiped tears of my mother
I can’t feel my feet,
with them I ran away from bullets

I am in the lap of a stranger,
Tears in his eyes
“Houriyeh, Houriyeh” ย resonating in the air
Thousands march with moist eyes
Walking with their fists held high

I see my friends wearing the same clothes – as mine,
Shrouded in white cloth, their eyes open but unmoved
Their faces I can’t recognize, I see Salma
Her skin is hanging like petals of the autumn flower
Her naked cheek bones, the colour of a damascene rose
Her blue eyes stripped of their lively innocence

I am being lowered into the dark cell,
No tombstone or an epitaph to identify my grave,
Only to be remembered by ‘Al Houla Massacre’
I have my friends, with my little baby neighbours
For company, as we recount playing marbles in Houla

Hands clutch soil, throw it over us, It’s dark now
Voices are fading into the soft sobs of my brother
Father is wailing, struck by the madness of my death
Mother is in denial,
“He was smiling and playing with me yesterday”

Mother
Hold me
In your arms
Let me hear you
Sing lullaby of;
Streets of Damascus
and the damascene rose

They leave the unmarked graveyards
which run through our homes
like termites infecting the Allepo pines
Here bread is paid;
not with paper
but human blood

Humanity has been outraged,
through umpteen bullet holes
In the back of the boy of Al Houla
In this land fear has been forbidden
Until freedom has come.

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