He Didn’t Come to Play: A Poem

This is in memory of the little boy, Aylan, we all met in a picture, lying face down in the sand on the shores of Turkey.

Lying face down
in the sand;
he should have been
making sand castles with.
He stopped breathing
minutes ago…hours ago…days ago
because the world had stopped so low.
He didn’t come to play.

The tiny shoes he wore;
I wonder how many he
had outgrown so far.
A shirt so red…
red like the hands of all those
responsible for his face being in
the sand.
Shorts that should have been swim wear.
He didn’t come to play.

The sea was supposed to
take him to a new life
but instead swept him
up to the shore for his own death.
He didn’t come to play.

We met him in an image
behind our high-tech screens.
We met him as a number
added to those who met the
same fate…
to those who didn’t come to play.

How do we feel?
The man that looked through
his camera lenses,
how did he feel?
The paramedic that carried
Him to his final bed; how did he feel?
Was the number he carried
So light?
But he is not a number.
His name was Aylan.
His name was Aylan.
His name was Aylan.
And he only would have wanted to play.

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