Poem: I pray for the end of pain

By: Linda M Crate

painful

slain of their innocence
the children stand in the blood
of memories not their own
crowned orphans
by the hatred of men who have
never met them but do not
want their existence
they are the fragile flowers left
behind by war,
and they need more than just prayers
to survive;
but no one wants to give them a place
at their table—
“what if they’re violent? what if they hurt someone?”
there’s no thoughts of their hunger
or their pain or how to heal them
just the concern of how they could hurt
someone else,
but mostly they are cold and shivering
eroding slowly away in the elements and all
anyone can do is stare;
i do not see the compassion we’d give ourselves
clothing them—
it breaks my heart,
and it is the reason that i will never support war;
because no matter who wins everyone loses
sometimes things they cannot get back
like parents
who would protect them from this muck and mire—
one day someone carries them away,
but they don’t understand the language or their purpose;
they only pray there is no pain
and i pray there is no pain also.

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