War Poem: City of Broken Dreams


By Barbara Millar

Shadows of wings fall on the streets of Aleppo.
A shower of metal explode in brains, shred arms and legs.
Severed limbs are clogging the drains of Aleppo.
A hail of bullets rupture the walls.

Domes of mosques are pockmarked forever.
The stench of rotting corpses rises from the dust
and forms a cloud of doom over memories which
will never come again in this land of olives and figs
and goats and sheep where ancient rivers met
to form a Garden of Eden.

There is no hope for the prisoners of Aleppo.
Barrel bombs erupt in fire.
Children are dragging their toys from the flames.
Summer heat is turning blood to stain upon the regime.

The hungry shed their cocoons of skin.
Maggots and flies eat the eyes of the dead.
Shattered glass blind those who see.

Toddlers fly out of windows
trapped in a coffin of rubble.
Poisoned babies cannot breathe.
A swath of shrapnel lodge into spines
and disable a man forever.
He will never again sire a child
or know the height of pleasure.

The heart of Aleppo is swollen with grief.
A city of bones lay beneath stones.
City of graves, city of ghosts who remember
the silence of the last breath.
There is no victory but peace.
The tears of martyrs are falling from heaven.
An army of refugees march to the sea
pinning their hopes to the horizon.


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