For the Children of Aleppo

by Kristina Zolatova

Crushed under the weight of a worn-torn city,
You wait, but no one comes.

Your eyes pierce the world’s cold heart and you ask,
Where are you?

But no one answers.

Your innocence stained by men playing war
and you, precious ones, are the pawns.

Trapped, besieged, despondent.
There’s no where to go, and apparently
We don’t want you.

Humanity has failed you, or better,
Human beings
Failed you.

Have you demanded too much of us?
You want peace and to live like the rest of the world.

Evidently, that’s just too much to ask.
After all, we’re busy praying and shopping,

Christmas is just around the corner.

You know, Christmas, that time when God
Divested himself of his glory and took on
Human flesh—pretty costly indeed.

We simply haven’t budgeted for this
Extra expense.

I’m sure you weren’t expecting it either.

We’ll keep praying and thinking about you,
Until the videos of your dying pleas
are superseded by the next movie-trailer.

Then you will fade from our memories, or
Perhaps in our post-truth world

We’ll reinvent you, or tell ourselves Cartesian-like
that we couldn’t be certain who was telling the

So we took the prudent route and

Of course, we prayed and thought about you.
Even so
you died.