Orphan with The Red Trunk

A Poem

by Alun Robert


inspiration from a photograph by Angela Catlin

of refugee children fleeing in Mosul during 2017

carries the world on her back

like a snail through the mire

bites her lip with anguish

with fortitude, with determination

peers straight ahead

at her peers she ran wild

with laughter and frivolity

in their playground through streets


praying it will soon be over

the fighting, the bombing

while seeking ruins of the house

that once she called home

where she would sit close with Mumî

where she would listen to Bavo

as he blessed dolma and kofta

their staple of existence but


they are long gone, no return

left to grow up on her own

faster by the day

darker through the night

wondering why it happened

in whose name was the carnage

an obliteration of her cosmos

the eradication of freedom


in her new world of a confusion

well beyond her grasp

yet she needs to become gihîştî

before she is a teen

before she parks her red trunk

amongst the rubble and bodies

praying someone covers her back

mourns for those who left early


first published in Poems For Peace

during 2020 by Dove Tales Scotland

Association of Scottish Artists for Peace