Girl

Caroline Fraser

Squatted down low, hands over my ears to stop the shooting, stop the banging, stop the screaming, rocking back and forth until there is cramp in my legs, fall to the floor, I was sure, sure I heard a small voice through the smoke, I reach out, out to grab a hand, a small hand and a voice cries Why are the loud noises ringing in my ears? Why won’t they go away?  The bridge; I hear it collapse, standing since 1566, the mark of our town, Mostar, he who guards the bridge, but who is guarding us now? Screaming, panic, people flee to the street, running nowhere, nowhere to go, how many? Thousands, bullets rebounding, resounding in my mind, I reach out and drag the little one close, sobbing, sobbing, sobbing only disrupted by a thousand screams and a thousand bombs, screaming, screaming, silence, silence, no sound, but then a crash, another crash, another…

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