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Children who fight still have to learn
when they return from Daesh.
Crayons, drawings of tanks, flags and guns
on white paper, grab pink and brown and draw car bombs.
Yeah, give me, shouting. Polite voices of children,
playing nicely drawing purple, blue legs,
attached to the square torso, black hair and beards,
I don’t know – family or fighters, or what?
Psychotherapist Qassim show us, show us.
Shaking and jumping, outside,
when you get older, girls grow white dresses
and gold coins that bang on their headdresses,
In a playground cluster giggling, with care
they adjust the younger boy’s red and white scarf,
maybe saying, ‘he is so cute.’
Sitting in class, drawn in eyebrows,
eyes down at the paper, thinking and listening
to the teacher’s shouting, your green eyes see –
– what do they see? – what do I see?
Did the camera operator choose you
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Bakeel heard the rocket inside the house,
Today is the day of carnage.
Houses have been opened by bombs
A blasted tree leans on the edge of the house
sprouting branches, steel rods,
the reinforcing concrete prods the azure sky, aimless.
Poor old walls, proud of your white diamonds.
Even now they look good. For now,
everyone’s moving, carrying mattresses,
but this is only temporary.
There were no Houthis here.
Just women, just children. Bakeel will tell you.
We will be back because otherwise
others take what’s ours from under this beautiful blue,
our land, we have to return,
we will rebuild our own house right here
or they’ll make us pay.
They always make you pay.
You have to fight to keep land.
The preciousness of soil.
Even this rubble is full of our souls.
This is our home, know
the fattest bombs won’t take it.
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