Still a Child

October 1, 2011
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“Kill him!” you scream at me.
I shoot without hesitation.
I need to see blood.
Killing people is wrong.
My mind says to me.
As I shoot again and again
Seeing butterflies blossom on their chests.

“Cut off his arm!” you tell me.
I swing the machete
And in one swift stroke
I'm staring at a bloodied stump.
I feel nothing.

But at night
When I'm not holding my gun
I remember the laughter and music of my village
(What does it feel like to laugh?)
Playing football
Going to school
Tickling my little sister
And Mama's sweet smile.

But I also dream of gun shots
Screams in my village
Dead bodies littering the streets
Seeing tears running down my mama's face
As I am taken away.

An invisible tear rolls down my cheek as I remember.
Because even if
My family
My home
My safety
Are lost,
You can't take my soul.

Please take away my gun
My machete
My bullets...
Strip away the soldier

Because I am still a child.

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