They see a t-shirt
Blond hair, blue eyes
And a broad smile so
Out of place that some would
Call it foreign.

They see a young boy;
He doesn’t even understand war
But he feels the pain
Of being attacked
Every day of his life.

F bombs
G bombs
Q bombs

Nuclear in their destruction,
And detrimental to the construction
Of his perceptions on how
This crazy place called life

Does it?

A single word heard by
Virgin ears
Can dictate the
Life of a child
Before he has even lived;
And brushed aside like dust under a mat.

We comfort ourselves with reassuring lies
To sooth the voices in our hearts saying
”This is wrong”.

And he? What has he to quiet
This noise bombarding him
Buzzing every day
Whispering in the hallways:


His smile is foreign
When it should be what
Breaks the boundaries
Of his lips exposing
His beauty,
His desire to belong.

One word will take a friend
And turn him foe
Before he has a chance
To say anything.

A label
Stuck to him like a price sticker on a
Box of crackers
Pours salt from his eyes.
This lovely boy,
This big-hearted child,
Condemned to be forever lonely
In a world full of lonelier people.

A single word,
So small in size but
So big in meaning,
Negates a thousand family photos,
A million friendly smiles,
One life.

A label
Taped to the side of a loaded gun
While he counts down to one.

A label
Glued to the edge of a
Blade of steel
Stained with the ruby colour of his body’s tears.

A label
Imprinted on his very core
Beyond the point of no return
Forced upon him by the crowd
Who pushed him away
But, when he is gone
Will wish he had stayed.

That label
Into the belly of a stone
Placed in a field of green
Before he has seen twelve summers pass.

The expiry date has come
And the label has won.

The End

17 comments about this poem Feed