because it had been a rough night.
Her eyes are blue as heaven’s dome,
staring past me, so I turn around
following her gaze – a child drawing stars –
turn back, and she has miraculously flown.
More guns in a school. This time
thousands of miles away in a place
we imagine full of violence and terror
but is probably more like your hometown
than anyone of us dares to think.
The title for this poem was seen this week on a protest sign in the aftermath of militants entered a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, opening fire on the students with automatic weapons and detonating multiple explosive devices. The attack killed 132 children and nine staff members, and another 120 were injured. All of the gunmen were also killed. The Pakistani Taliban, claiming responsibility, said the assault on the children was in retaliation for attacks on their own families in North Waziristan, where the Pakistani Army has been carrying out an offensive against several militant groups.
A cuddle of children playing behind me
on swings and slide, chattering in Spanish
a bird song full of summer play.
Mothers chiding, flocking and nesting new flyers.
I can hear their young wings flapping.