Her name is Samira
She is five

She sees the silver bird flying through a clear blue sky
It glints in the sun and catches her eye

Fifteen seconds pass slow in the sun…

The sight brings happy memories to her mind
Little tinsel squares thrown at a joyous wedding
The tiny silver horse she had loved so much
in the bazaar
A sparkle of water in the market square

Ten seconds pass, a leaf falls gently…

She smiles and squints in the sun
and closes one beautiful brown eye
The better to see her silver bird fly

The bird makes a long slow arc
She loves the shape of the curve it makes
Like the curve of her arm shielding her eyes
Her thoughts go to her very own tree
And the soft shapes of its lovely limbs
And she thinks of the sound
Of the leaves at night
How they take her off to sleep

Five seconds of love and light remain…

The sun has warmed her to sleepy dreaming
Creeping under the shade of her protecting arm
And in playful loving and new thoughts waking
She touches her cheek
And runs to tell………


On the side of the “bird” in large letters:
“From Uncle Sam” and a grin
The missile cost so many dollars
So many gifts that could have been…
Perhaps for ten thousand children
And two worlds so much nearer
But death from the sky could never bring
A tiny horse to our Samira

Having lost its track and trajectory
The maps of its mind don’t work
And who will ever know why
It saw the house as a target
Was it lost and dreaming too?
And through a fever of confusion
A little village house
Seemed a better place to die
Than its sad mechanical mind
Too cold and lonely in the sky

Ten days go by in a fiery heat
before a GI passes by
Thinking of his lovely daughter
The apple of his eye
The bloody bones he tidies up
And throws them in the sewer
“Some damned unlucky Iraqi cat or dog”
Our world is now one fewer

by Allan Tierney