Are You Abdullah?
Are you the father?
The father who carefully escapes
overland the dread, the torment,
threats, fire and bombs of Syria,
then gathers up your family again
with small bags of clothes
and biscuits, climbs aboard
a rubber raft heading
to the island of Kos, bound
in an armor of hope?
When high waves topple
the boat and the captain deserts,
do you steer until impossible?
Are you the father who watches
your wife float away,
your little boys struggle
for air, then vanish?
Are you the father who cries
as he picks up one beautiful son
washed up on the beach,
who wonders where the world is
as the ocean swallows his nation?
• Published on newversenews[dot]com, Sept. 4, 2015
• Awarded First Prize by Illinois State Poetry Society, Oct. 2015