Read by author
A father, his pain, a dead child in his arms A face, then a blank empty space at the back Blood on that face then a hollow concave lack A shroud, a coffin, a blood-soaked embrace an ill-suited end for a four-year-old boy His father's own darling, his mother's own joy His father he tells him, I've brought you a toy Open your eyes, smile for me, lift up your head We'll play as we did, how can you be dead? You're too small for the box, too young for the shroud I thought you'd recover, I'd watch you grow strong Wake up for me now, can't you see this is wrong? I don't know what say, where to look, how to act Occupation, bombardment, rockets, airstrike Retaliation, I don't know what that's like Then I see little Sahir alone in the ground The scene shifts into focus I know what to say Stop killing the children in Gaza today
1. ‘Wake up, my son’ was written for Sahir Abu Namous, who died aged four, during an airstrike on Gaza in July 2014.
2. A recording of the poem appears on the Leith Walk Rhymer’s youtube channel.
Copyright © 2015 Lindsay Oliver