O Come and Mourn; a ‘found’ poem

O Come and Mourn; found by Eleanor Dent

First speaker*

We buried them. I took Ahmed and Aya

and buried them with my brothers.

I buried my kids with my own hands,

my wife and my brothers.

I used to call them, ‘Blondies.’

My son, come to see Papa!

My soul, my loves, my Aya!

I was right beside them.

I took them outside with their mother

when they were conscious

but, ten minutes later, we could smell it, the gas

and my children couldn’t handle it any more.

I left them with the medics

and went to find my family.

Second speaker **

I took my son

and left the house with my husband.

In the way, a big lorry stopped us

and told us that they had many dead people

and we saw our relatives.

All were my relatives, my friends, my neighbours.

I can’t believe it! My God! Children! Children!

Amarr, Aya, Mohammad and Ahmed!

I love you, my birds. Really, they were my birds.

I saw them. They were dead.

All are dead now.

Final hymn

O, Come and Mourn With Me Awhile.

Euronews broadcast a special report, ‘Syria: remembering the victims’ two days after a chemical attack killed seventy people, many of them children. The two speakers are related. Twenty-two members of their family were killed.

*  Abdel Hameed al-Youssef

**Aya Fadl