Tuesday, 16 January 2018

They used to tell me I was beautiful

Qamar and Rahaf were toddlers

asleep at home in Homs. A shell


fired the bedclothes

and the children burned.


It made the news. Shots of them

in hospital cots, broadcast;


tiny blackened hands, burying themselves

in soft pink teddybear fur.


Six years of operations, and Qamar is 9.

She loves doctors; she’d like to heal too.


Boys still point: look at her

disfigured face.


Qamar draws her dream house

and a mosque. What does she pray for?


I ask God to cure me; re-make me

more beautiful than I was before.

© Sue Norton

Syria shelling: 'They used to tell me I was beautiful'

Sue Norton has had poems published in various magazines. She was a prizewinner in the 2017 Rialto/RSPB Nature Poetry competition.