BEHEADED CHILDHOOD – a poem by Julia Wright

Six year-old Wadea al-Fayoume killed in Illinois anti-Palestinian hate crime
Six year-old Wadea al-Fayoume killed in Illinois anti-Palestinian hate crime.

By Julia Wright

July 22 1941
the girl next door
is getting married
so Anne Frank leans
out of her Amsterdam window
to get a peek
and tosses her hair
in childish excitement –
it is the only time
she will ever be captured on film –
it’s still posted there
on youtube
lest we forget

eighty two years later
in Plainfield Illinois
neighbors watch
the lifeless body
of six-year old
Wadea Al-Fayoume
stabbed twenty six times
just because
he is Palestinian –
how long will that be
or will our memory of him
be beheaded ?

an injured
Gazan child
makes it safely
to the hospital
and emerging
from the ambulance
touches the dust with
his head
doing sujood –
will this innocent reverence
be beheaded ?

Richard Wright’s Fred Daniels
emerging from
a 1942 maze of
premonitory tunnels
tells the police
it is not too late,
there can be truth
and reconciliation
if they own up to their own guilt –
but bomb-carrying silver planes
stream the sky
and his captors shoot the likes of him
back down the sewer
and he becomes
the child he was
sentenced to
a dark flood
of oblivion
and dismemberment

(c) Julia Wright. October 16, 2023. All Rights Reserved to the people of Palestine blockaded in Gaza – 47% of them being children.

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