Walking to School

I browsed the Aljazeera English website today for the first time. They had a feature on the young students of Gaza as schools reopen after the Israeli bombardment.

I lingered on one photograph in the accompanying gallery. It wasn’t the one with rockets raining down UN schools, nor the one where people are running away screaming.

It was a photo of a young girl walking among the rubble of what looks like a classroom once. There is a charred metal skeleton of a desk on the right. Perhaps a blackboard once hung against the ashen wall.

Her dark, oversized jacket and pants merge with the burnt wall. Under her jacket she has a white shirt. It seems to glow in all that darkness. She must be not more than seven years of age, but looking down at her every step makes her seem much older. The fingers on her hand look like petals of a flower falling to the ground.

I sometimes look too much into things.

Here is a link to the photo.

About matangmanok

Jim Pascual Agustin writes and translates poetry. Sometimes he tries his hand at essays and stories. His latest book is BLOODRED DRAGONFLIES, published by Deep South in South Africa. Check out the official blog page for Bloodred Dragonflies. In 2011 the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House in Manila released BAHA-BAHAGDANG KARUPUKAN (poems in Filipino) and ALIEN TO ANY SKIN (poems in English). The same publisher released his most recent poetry collections SOUND BEFORE WATER and KALMOT NG PUSA SA TAGILIRAN. In 2015 a new poetry collection in English, A THOUSAND EYES was released. His first collection of short stories in Filipino, SANGA SA BASANG LUPA, was released in 2016. UK publisher The Onslaught Press launches his poetry collection, WINGS OF SMOKE, worldwide in February 2017. San Anselmo Publications released HOW TO MAKE A SALAGUBANG HELICOPTER & OTHER POEMS in 2019 followed by CROCODILES IN BELFAST & OTHER POEMS in 2020 - both books can be purchased through their Facebook page. View all posts by matangmanok

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