At least, you know his name

At the fringe of the world

where rampant darkness lives,

and foot-fall runs

from searchlight’s glare,

a lifeless statue sits.

Grey dust plastered on by hate.


He’s five years old.

And on the edge of power,

the mothers of the world

have gathered round to watch,

as long as he has lived,

to wring their hands

with tearful fears,

their eyes wide open to

what man can do to man.


The statue’s past

was bombed and blasted

into shards

that whipped and ripped

his brother’s future

from a family’s heart.

While he, freeze-framed, swims

through no-man’s fogs

that makes it fearful to remember,

more dangerous to forget.


Thick skinned with daily life

of unread books

and monsters educated

in the art of war,

of barrel bombs that rain

Confettied buildings, people, cats,

he moves

to touch

the warming ooze

that’s on his head

(the ketchup’s red).

Then starts,

and scrapes the chilling madness

of death’s playground

onto white helmet’s safety’s seat.


The tearless frozen statue sits.

No lullabies of sirens

were whispered in his ear.

No prelude to this solo non-performance

in the spotlights of

our hashtag havens

for his fifteen minutes of unwanted fame.


At least, at least

you know his name.


© Caroline Johnstone 2016

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