[``Tiflat al-Harb`` appeared in Sargon Boulus` posthumous collection `Azma Ukhra li-Kalb al-Qabila (Baghdad and Beirut: Dar al-Jamal, 2008)
The Child of War
(To an Iraqi child who was born, and died, during the war)
The child came
The one missing in the war
She stood at the end of the hallway
Holding a candle
I see her whenever I wake up
at the first hour of dawn
She waits for me to hit
the wall of reality
Her eyes, vast because of the of horror of wisdom,
are patient among the hills’ thorns
There, where my thoughts search at night
My hand can break her chains
My voice might pose questions
to the murderer or to God
Questions whose answers she knows. . .
How long has this war gone on, child?
How many nights has it been at the bottom of which well?
What eternity of pain coming from all directions?
What would the four-star general have done
had they deprived his child of her milk for one day?
The child says:
They took my family on a ship
to the other world
I always knew that they would leave me here
Alone, on the shore
I knew. . .
[Translated from the Arabic by Sinan Antoon]