War on children

She stood hugging her troubled Teddy bear

in a place that is called somewhere safe, a

smiling helper asked her name. Gripping

her furry friend she smiled and cried. The 

words stuck in her throat for, how could she

say the words that break the silence and

blast her back into the tumbled world of

bangs, dust, cries, screams and tears on her

mother’s cheeks through the moving window.


Twisting her head, she spied others like her

with strangers’ heads bent towards them,

offering packets of sandwiches, drinks 

and everywhere she looked her eyes were

searching for her mother, her father and

listening for their words and surely they

will call her name. But in all the noise of

kindness her broken heart silently called

for them and someone tried to gather her

into their arms and softening their voice,


said, ‘Ucisz moje maleństwo,’ over and

over, covering their own horror and pain

by repetition and under the words they

prayed for patience and strength and that

this skinny sobbing girl would begin to

trust them to care for her. Slowly, sobs

steeped in terror subsided and a the 

small hand slipped into theirs. All round

the world this moment repeats to the


tearing of the fragment of a child’s life.

And nightmares and silence fold in on

a small person, who had been tucked in

their own bed after a story, and known

that in the morning their мати would 

come in and lovingly call them to wake, 

go to school or to the park after hugs.

and they were safe, loved and secure,

and it is all gone because Putin says so.


He has sent these children into terror 

and there will be many who respond

and help, heal and nurture them into a

safe place again. My heart breaks too

for he has sent them wantonly, wickedly

into traffickers’ snares to be hurt, killed, 

abused, and enslaved by the callous,

cruel, inhuman people. This evil crime 

of sending children to a hell is his too.