An Ode to Child Soldiers



An edited version of the previously published poem of the same name.

Let’s right (I know it’s write)

A nursery rhyme for child soldiers in Africa.

Our Great(er) plague ensues, does it not?

Take that, western “Black Death”!


Ring-a-ring o’ oil rigs?

A pocket full of diamonds?

A gold mine?


It doesn’t matter –

We all fall down!


“Don’t call me a fallen soldier -

This war’s not mine to fight”.

We’ve forgotten about our soldiers.

Wait. Let me rephrase that;

We’ve forgotten about out children.


They cannot play, because

The vibrant colour of red finger paint looks like the blood shed on their hands.

The sand pit suffocates them as a makeshift graveyard would.

Playgrounds have come to look like training camps.

They duck when water balloons are thrown, because they know all too well the aftermath of hand grenades.

Hide-and-seek sparks anxiety -

“What will happen to me if I’m found?”


We should not forget our children,

Lest they learn

To kill us while we sleep.


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