The Children Sleep

Silence, the children sleep.
Clutching onto dreams, a big friendly giant
Running down a hill, and up again-
Life eludes them, as does the butterfly.

Laughing when the bombs go off,
For they do not know this from that-
Can’t tell a gun from a flower
or death from life.

One will write in her diary then,
of hope, of life, of strawberries and kisses
of losing hope.
One with the green eyes, haunted ever after.
Another will be found on some beach,
shore of eternal sleep, dreamless.

One will sit bloodied, stricken, hollow-eyed
Barefoot, dusty with the ash of a failed world,
dust from the ruins of childhood.
Another will run naked through a street,
ghosts of what could have been.

One will dream, one will sleep
One will live, one will laugh, another weep.
Lost to the ravages, nameless.
Lost to war, as it were music-
guns and missiles, a melody.

Promises of life, love and lies
Behind those dreamless sleeping eyes.
Silence, the children sleep-
will there be a tomorrow for them to dream?
Silence, the children sleep.

Nivedita Mishra is a Jane Austen person living in a Frank Herbert world, coming to terms with its tribulations.

Featured image: Reuters