Failure of the Year, 2017

Once upon a time
the world bowed down
before the hearts of children
and tended their joy
like the most prized orchid
in the conservatory of the soul
We once rushed for paints
when the rain washed their chalk
from the pavement
so their essence
could always be remembered
in color
Now we idly wait
while that same rain
washes their blood from it.
Yet somehow, as a world,
we go on
fat, round, and turning,
as if our children’s beds weren’t burning.
So it’s no small wonder
that we, world
need filters and photoshop
to be able to stand the sight
of our own image
and i have to ask, world,
if your hands don’t hurt
from sitting on them for so long?
what a strange amnesia
to be able to forget a face
when it’s right in front of you
with eyes a million miles deep
and hollow
from seeing so much blood
when they were only made
to look at love

• Author’s Note:  This was written in response to UNICEF’s Photo of the Year for 2017, which is of a young girl from Syria named Zahra, who has lived in a refugee camp in Jordan for two years.

Rachel Durling is a mother, mystic, yoga instructor, and herbal medicine woman inspired by nature and the human heart. She has been recording her musings in a journal for over a decade, and is just beginning to share her voice with the world in written form. Rachel also crafts bracelets and meditation beads, and donates a portion of sales revenue to refugees of war at Hands of Devotion Read other articles by Rachel.