We played in the shadow
Of murderers’ at work,
Kneading soldiers out of mud,
Stepping on them
When we were done playing. 

Girls walking the streets
Gave us bread to eat.
An old dog with a limp
Kept us warm at night
As we huddled in doorways. 

My friends, my playmates,
We never saw the dead,
Only the birds scatter
After we heard the gunshots
And ducked our heads. 

This poem appeared in the September 13, 2012 issue of the magazine.