A Gaza Child ( For Layla Al Ghandour )

The eight month old , green eyed child
snuggled next to her granny’s chest
sending her into a joyous tizzy.
Busy, busy, death was busy
Changing shapes, wearing masks
dutifully doing his duty, his deadly tasks,
sometimes hidden under a draft of acrid gas,
at times under gunfire.
Not wanting to be a loser, he crept closer.
Closer.
Closer to the child,
wild eyes glinting with a predator’s spark,
Stark.

There she lay, the green eyed child; asphyxiated.
Limbs cold and blue, just eight month old
with a headful of gold
whose gurgles of happy mirth
now no longer could be heard
on the hate ravaged earth.

From a warm embrace to a cold one,
the child had shifted; now it nestled
close to death’s shoulders
as her distraught family
wrestled with anguish, cuddling
the muddled memories of an eight month old,
who had glowed with a headful of gold.

The birds flocked to their nests
as arguments and counterarguments,
more lethal than poison gas, swirled in the air.

“Layla, Layla”, the mother cries,
smothering her sobs, choking on a pall of black smoke.
Private pain now stands juxtaposed against a political cause.
A bloated vulture sitting atop a tree gloats
as a murky darkness engulfs them all.
Death crawls, bends, and lowers himself,
his cold arms now embracing the leftovers.
Pleased as Punch, his jaws crunch on, munch on
lunch on.

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About Santosh

An educationist with a passion for writing , having published some novels for young adults, some essays and some poems. My poetic biography of Mahatma Gandhi will soon be published .

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