Stringing daffodils

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He looks up from the dusty ground
After the bullies had had their fill of laughter and taunting
Turning over, he looked up at the blue sky
Clouded with fluffy cotton balls

A soft wind blew against his cheek
Making him grimace at the sting
He wiped away the red blood from his cheek
Forgetting about the torn skin on his elbows
He grimaced again, louder this time
Cap back on his head, hiding half his Western heritage
He soldiered back home

A tank rolls by
Messages of freedom shouted
Freedom in the Arab world, they say
Freedom, indeed

A tall Arab greets him at the door
Despair and death have evidently ravished on his weight and spirits
Sadness gorged at his heart
At the sight of his ten year old’s wounds

He rushes with tools and words to heal
The swollen muscles, the bruises
That lay on the inside and on the outside

Can we go tomorrow, baba?
Tomorrow, son…
Tomorrow is best left to tomorrow
He looks at the photographs on the wall
Keepsakes from his mother’s life
A life no more

A big blue Indian Ocean
An elephant caressing her baby
A koala cuddling a tree branch
A field of yellow daffodils

Happiness in each picture
Happiness that seemed closer in his imagination
Than in reality

At night he lay
Thinking about those photographs

Waiting for the sirens to stop
Waiting for a plane ride
Waiting for his father to smile

Tomorrow is best left to tomorrow, he forms the words in his mouth
Freedom, he whispers silently

At night he lay
Stringing daffodils