War Child


Inspired by the book War Child by Emmanuel Jal

Oh War Child,
look at what you have become
Oppressed by a system that forced you to become wild
In the merge of guns and a mind that has no conscious
you have become a war child
Seeing blood flow from out the flesh of another has no case in your file
it’s just another memory that been shot

Oh War Child
Yes, you, African boy
You’ve been dredged from the hands of your sweet mother
and now look at you
angry by the fault of your circumstances
so you have no care in this world because you feel that you are on your own
but you are not alone.
Yes I feel the pain that trickles my soul
the war that replays in my mind is long lasting it never seem to get old.
Watching the bloodbath of my brothers drown them to death has triggered me
to become cold.

Oh War Child
look at what I have become
guns was my expression of the g code
and the fault of me being away from my sweet mother
has put me in depression of the survivor mode
Frustration has ruled my thoughts
all my effort to find a way out had seem to led to naught
There was no place for freedom
I was caught up in the system of oppression but

Oh War Child
you are not alone
I too am looking to find a way out


  1. Patrick Riviere on February 24, 2017 at 3:45 PM

    Thank you for sharing a little bit of yourself with this poem. I believe the skill and heart you showed in this poem indicates that you’re a good person and you want to make a positive contribution to society. I’ll be sending positive thoughts your way.

  2. Rachael Sandri on February 27, 2017 at 6:35 PM

    Dear NH,

    Wow. The way you connected your experience to Jal’s story was so powerful. It seemed to beg the question, How many more?

    Please keep writing!

    Your fan,


  3. Zoe on March 8, 2017 at 3:02 PM

    This is really amazing! I also got to meet Emmanuel Jal recently and hear his story and I think you did a wonderful job of portraying it. Not only was the content great but I really like your writing, especially the repetition.

  4. Jess Lawson on March 11, 2017 at 7:47 PM

    Thank you for this powerful poem. I love the way you use parallelism and repetition to emphasize the identity that war has given to this child. I also can’t get the lines “the war that replays in my mind is long lasting it never seem to get old/Watching the bloodbath of my brothers drown them to death has triggered me/
    to become cold” out of my head. It’s so true that our minds can keep us in chains long after the trauma seems to be over. That said, I’m encouraged by the power of your hope and the strength of your fight for freedom from the violence and the war. I can’t wait to read your next piece!
    -Jess 🙂

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