I am nine
And my world has turned upside down.
They come like thieves in the night,
stealing our happiness.
They have killed our fathers
and tortured our mothers.
They carry things that shoot out metal, smoke,
and make holes in our flesh.
They drop flaming balls of fire from the sky,
destroying our homes.
Cries ring out at the break of dawn
like the roosters on our roofs.
The stench of decaying bodies hovers in the air.
Our people are now a pile of rotten flesh.
Their big machines keep us up at night
like a bad dream.
At any moment I will wake up to Papa’s laughter
like the cackle of Mama’s hens.
I will wake up to the bright rays of the sun
and the heavenly scent of Dakari’s baklava.
I close my eyes,
then I open them.
The sun is still blocked by clouds of smoke and despair,
and Dakari’s shop is still a pile of stone, wood, and flour.