A girl is playing on the green slopes of a valley in Kurdistan, on the border between Iran and Iraq, when her kite is suddenly swept across the river by the wind. Three boys on the other side see her calling for help, but cannot make out what she is saying: she is just too far away. Separated by the river, the children try to communicate with each other – yet between them lie the explosive remnants of past wars.
The women are lighting Shabbos candles
with Molotov Cocktails — A baby is passed to arms
on a train.
My mind suddenly shifts
to tally one week’s arithmetic of grief:
eighty children among the hundreds killed
in a fine-tuned cone of shrapnel