My Little Daughter of Four

Written to express solidarity with the ongoing Syrian crisis, and inspired by Warsan Shire’s ‘Home.’

 

My little daughter of four

Hadn’t learned to read just yet.

So every morning she’d sit with me,

And we’d read the newspaper like a book.

 

Like a book with pictures,

Where the words had almost no meaning.

The stories in it became our own,

Almost like we had the power to rewrite them.

 

To rewrite them the way we wanted,

All of the people, their lives and struggles.

It was my favourite part of the day,

Because it made the world seem like a better place.

 

A better place if only temporarily.

But one day she saw the aftermath of the bombings.

Pictures of blood and massacre on every page,

And she looked a little worried.

 

A little worried because all the people were crying,

And the injured people lay on the road.

“I’m trying to think why these people,

The ones with the wounds – aren’t in the hospital?

 

In the hospital they would be cared for,

So I can’t think of a story that seems good enough.”

“I’m also thinking why so many of them,

seem to have been injured all at once.

 

All at once, as though they were all in a game.

But Mama, why would anyone play so rough?”

“I thought that winning isn’t always important.

Isn’t that what you taught me?

 

You taught me to always play fair and with heart,

and to share my toys with everyone in class.

To never run so fast that someone else would fall.

Mama, can we teach them too?”

 

My little daughter of four

Hadn’t known the world just yet.

And so every morning she’d sit with me,

And we’d read the newspaper like a book.

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6 thoughts on “My Little Daughter of Four

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