“RUN” she said to her child, before her voice drowned out.

There was a moment of silence, before another shot fired

The little boy crouched behind a rock and waited

For he longed to return home, but knew he couldn’t 


Amidst the chaos, the bloodshed, the violence and the terrors

He remained calm, as calm as can be

He stared into a puddle filled with muddy red water

And it showed him the world; our world, of uncertainty 


Screams of horror echoed through the alleys

The dead lay scattered on the roads

There was aggression, there was unimaginable loss 

There was fear, but no signs of remorse 


But the shrieks were deafened and the wallows silenced

By his plea for justice, and his cries for help 

For the little boy of tender seven (or eight perhaps)

Merely longed to be anywhere else 


He might have been you, he might have been me 

Leaving everything behind, being forced to flee 

To seek asylum in a place unknown to him 

To escape his home, become a refugee 


But the little boy stood

Stood firm, like a boulder

He had found courage, even when the darkness reflected before him

He held on tight to his reality, for he knew if he didn’t 

He’d find himself slip into a world much colder  

—Aliya S., age 13, grade 8, Mumbai, India.

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