Syria and the Little One Watch Meetings in Paris (Version 2)
by “A Foolish Mother In Syria”
Tiny, I have so many secrets though
I’m fretting upon a world stage, and yet
I can not help but have hysterical screams on cue
to do my ugly embarrassment for
some eager naïve college student who’s
an enthusiast for underdogs and lost causes, because
what else is there to do when the clock ticks
(as if there were any more mechanical things)
and the shelling continues to quickly
blow up a building so near to me
I have seen too many close calls, and
much greater brawls, because I am
in a minor village of disagreement
if I could be, as they say, diplomatic with
all the special terms that they say in French, and
English at all the meetings where pressure is collected
My friend’s child is dead by Bashar al-Assad (don’t tell anyone).
My cousin said something. He was tortured and never mind…
I don’t know anyone in Paris. I have no protection.
I had a dream my precious little one
was killed in a shelling of my building where
I live and don’t leave for Turkey like the others.
I am afraid to think or be in the wrong clothing
in the presence of the wrong clan or language or word
that’s a rocket of my dreams that lands on my baby
’cause I am so foolish to love his smile so much and
not believe in anything anymore but
a place to hide where hatred can not penetrate.
Let him live and kill me if
there’s a conference where
they listen to all the babies’ cries
and where the boundaries
of a neighborhood seem as silly as
the bark of a tree that can not speak its dignity
So tiny am I on the world stage, and yet
I can not help but do my hysterical scream
Hello Alain Juppé, pleased to
meet you in fantasy. If you could, could you
kiss my baby goodbye. We
are not of the ruling clan, and I
had a dream my precious little one
was killed in a minor shelling. I know he and I are
so little on the world stage, and perhaps
our beliefs are wrong, but
have you ever seen him smile. If you’d
let him live, maybe you could
teach him French and persuade him
of some form of love that perhaps all humans
have in common. I don’t know with so much evil here.
I know I should have faith, but if
my my child would not be a martyr
Maybe I didn’t study enough, but there’s little time for me to learn.
So tiny am I. Take me. Save my child. Have you seen him smile.
He looks important. I know it. He’s
a prophet in the wrong neighborhood.
The big group will meet again
next month in Washington. I had a dream that an
innocent shell from a government gun
hit my child in the face. Likely. The
Blue Helmets will not
arrive in time in my yard.
You should have seen
him smile yesterday.
Regime forces break into homes. Close. C’est la vie.
But no: I’m not that Mother you think you know. I’m the other one.
One with many secrets
that a little bird told me
when it flew away from an explosion.
It said that every one knows the Russians are brutal.
Even the Vietnamese knew that, and
had sympathy for the foolish
Americans that they defeated. Everyone
knows that the Russians and Chinese are
Godless and fair weather friends.
The delay and veto are death. Of course, and
I am so tiny on the world stage. What would I know.
Have you seen him smile. Isn’t it beautiful.
— Douglas Gilbert