This poem was based on a newspaper article.
Children of War
On the deserted streets before the sun emerges,
several emaciated children appear
from under makeshift shelters.
A scuffed ball is tossed and soon
without a sound they mark their boundaries
and form competing squads to play until
the fingers of sunlight spread over the horizon.
No parent calls, yet each one knows
when it is time to withdraw and sink back
before the soldiers arrive. Back into the recesses
of the bombed buildings into the dark safety of the
underground until next morning when they can
crawl out again to resume their childhood games.