Over and over, children show us that their voices can ring out with more authority and power than any adult discourse. This is the second collection published by 16-year-old Syrian-American poet Ludella Awad, who lives with her family in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Ludella has said that she began to write about Syria when she was fourteen because she couldn’t talk about it.
She’s talking about it now.
In addition to two books of poetry, Ludella has done several public readings, been featured on a radio show, and attracted the attention of the University of New Mexico.
Most importantly, she hasn’t allowed the people of Syria to disappear between the cracks of fickle Western memory.
I think that’s what she set out to do.
Syria’s Bloody Nightmare
I am in a dream about Syria’s war.
I am in a dreary place where
Everyone is dressed in black;
The chairs are white, lined up in rows.
The people’s faces are wrinkled with grief.
They are picking up dirt with home-made shovels,
Throwing it on the bodies in the open graves.
The people are standing in a graveyard, smelling blood.
I hear the screams of mothers crying for their children.
I see dead roses on the ground;
I hear the wind blowing.
I look at the ground,
And see the photos and memories of Syria blowing away.
My head is spinning and spinning
With photos and memories,
Remembering my grandma,
Seeing my grandma waving to me.
By Udella Awad