Her name is Mosul

Her name is Mosul


On a dusty empty street:
on a hot sunny day,
in a dry colorless land,
a camera lens zooms in.

Zooming in … slowly.

A dusty paved road;
yellow and white painted concrete barriers
stacked side by side
separate the roads.

The wind stirs up dust and black clouds of smoke
making it dance like a scary ghost
that is getting taller,
wider and moving further.

Pages of white paper;
plastic bags;
newspapers and light debris
fly past the zooming camera.

A stray dog runs in the distance,
frightened looking behind
as it runs out of sight
with tail between its legs.

A herd of sheep scatter ‘baa, baa, baa’
appear to be searching for their shepherd
that is nowhere to be seen.

The camera zooms to the center of the two lanes.

Slowly.. zooming.. in..

Against the neon yellow barrier
a grey ball shaped object
no bigger than a shopping bag, moves.

Wind blowing the thing of grey color.

Camera lenses zooms.. closer.. closer.


A toddler, a little girl.
A tiny little girl.
Her dress appears to have been white
at some point,
before the mayhem
and before the town fell
onto the hands of slaughtering men dressed in black.

Her body is motionless
and her face; expressionless.

She is alive and wide awake.
Nuzzled up against the concrete barrier
as a baby nuzzles to a mother’s bosom
with her cheek;
her temple and her ear
pressed against the unforgiving
solid concrete wall.

I wonder who was the last one to tenderly hold her?
Who was the last one tried to protect and keep her?
Who was the last one that loved her but lost her?

The dry stream of tears
created lines:
down her soot and ash covered cheeks;
she is no longer crying.

She is staring into the distance.

Camera lenses zooms.. out.. again.

Loud pickup trucks dash by
filled with heavily armed men
dressed in black
with giant black flags
fluttering in the wind.

One after another:
after another,
after another,
stirring up more dust and debris.

It takes a while to spot the baby again.

She is still there.
Alone; frightened
but not crying!

No one else notices the little girl
but the one behind the camera lens
and a world watches
utterly sad, devastated and helpless.

The little girl is Mosul.

She is 06.14.2014 Mosul.
She is 06.14.2014 Mosul.


Poem published in the reprint of my debut book ( I’m No Hero ) in 2018. Book was published in 2016 through Silver Bow Publishing.

disclaimer: photo copied from Instagram 2015


2 thoughts on “Her name is Mosul

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