Peshawar kids

by Rachna K.

                                 I see them gasping for breath,
                                 the ink still wet on their notebook,
                                 now streaked with blood.
                                 Light headed, they try to focus
                                 on the dark faces as their classroom
                                 perishes into a cloudy graveyard.
                                 I weep for humanity and wonder
                                 if the chubby girl on the left,
                                 remembered her mother holding
                                 her mittens this morning or if
                                 the skinny, dark boy smiled thinking
                                 of his favorite lunch waiting at home.
                                 If her grip on the pen is still firm,
                                 if his answer is on the paper yet.
                                 If the burden of these small souls
                                 is too much for the earth to bear.
                                 I wonder if they've forgiven us
                                 for bringing them where there
                                 is so little laughter and love,
                                 and so much hurt.