‘Grandma! Grandma!’ the young girl cried,
clutching her cape, spattered with red;
a hollow shell, empty inside,
but for the waves that crashed in her head.
The rubble-filled streets filled her with dread;
her home was erased, no place to hide;
there beneath bricks her grandma lay dead.
‘Grandma! Grandma!’ the young girl cried.
Raped by soldiers roughly astride,
robbed of her childhood, obscenely spread,
their lust sated, her ropes were untied.
Clutching her cape, spattered with red,
she crept away, footsteps like lead,
filled with shame, with no-one to guide,
staggering south, aimless she fled;
a hollow shell, empty inside
except for accretions of pride
to turn to the world when she bled
from a past she could have denied
but for the waves that crashed in her head,
for flashbacks are easily fed
by chance. Just today she espied
a girl with a seashell, who sped
up the beach, and with laughter cried: