When I see these photos in the news, I imagine the stories behind them. They must never be mere numbers.
Silence was in every corner
Inside the home of Amina,
The little girl of Aleppo.
She was surrounded by bombs and jets,
Sleeping between her mum and dad.
She woke up asking her mum to cover her,
And found her little brother crying instead.
Her mother did not respond.
Silence came and went,
Cut only by her brother's cries.
Thinking her mum was tired and sleeping,
She shook her dad to cover her;
He did not respond.
The cries of her brother filled the room,
Warm tears dropped down her cheeks.
She thought her dad was dreaming of her future,
Dreaming of how he would live for his daughter,
How he would share beautiful memories,
The memories of her, his wife and his son.
She thought he was dreaming of his country,
And his stricken city of Aleppo.
She thought his dream had become a nightmare,
A nightmare of why no one cared,
No one helped,
No one spoke up.
They ignored the cries of children,
The moans of women,
The weeping of men.
She wondered if her dad was imagining
Why the international organizations were silenced,
The government was committing massacres,
Their allies raping women and torturing men.
Amina asked her dad to cover her,
To cover her from the fear in the air,
From the smell of gun powder,
From the darkness in which she lives,
From the fear she shares with her brother.
She needs to be covered,
To feel accompanied in her loneliness,
To feel happy after her sadness,
To feel healthy after her sickness.
She keeps asking her dad to cover her:
Cover me before it’s too late.
Cover me before the bombs target me.
Before they burn our home with their fires.
Dad, cover me before it’s too late.
He did not cover her.
She did not know her dad was on his way to the heavens,
Where her mother already was praying,
Mentor: Laila Sumpton