The 8,000

Who gives you
The right?

Who gave you
The right?

To be wrong

Over thousands
Of children’s dead bodies

Who gave you the right
To decide
That it was now their time to die

For them to stop singing
For them to stop dreaming

What policy paper
What raison d’État
Said that their blood must
Be drunk hungrily

That their eyes must be forever shut

That they are worthless
To this world

That their broken bloodied bodies
Are the right cost
For “total” victory


Tell me who

No, I will tell you

Rich men
Comfortable men
Scheming men
Soundly sleeping men

Have stolen lives

Little Human lives
Not even strong enough
To beg

Not even loud enough
To be heard over the missiles’ wrath
And wakening you from your bunkered bed

Wicked wicked
Who sumptuously dine and drink champagne

While nearby
Innocent young flesh
Is eaten by a rain of commanded fire

These men sleep soundly
For they say they are right
That it is the other side that is wrong

And that the hard wall of war
Is there
To teach the enemy:

What you do
Will be paid for by children

We will hold all innocence hostage
The future will pay for the present

The ghosts of your children
Will walk up and down your lands
Will haunt your waters and your skies
Will taint your bread and your prayers

And nowhere will you go
And nowhere will you hide
Without hearing their faint cries

Of “why O Father?” Of “why O Mother?”

“O tell me who is guilty?”

“O tell me why I must die?”

Author’s Note:  This poem was written for the 8,000 children recently massacred in Gaza.


Dan Corjescu teaches at the University of Tübingen's "Studium Professionale" program. Read other articles by Dan.