The Eyes of a Child by Paul Griffiths

Different childhoods from different times.
Holding tightly to my mother’s hand.
Crossing the road to the local sweetshop.
10p mixed bag of half penny sweets.

Blackjacks fruit salads mint mojo”s
White mice and chocolate logs.
Happiness in a little paper bag.
Contentment guaranteed.

Patch of grass in front of our house.
Tattered leather casey football
Broken sticks for goal posts.
This was our Wembley.

New craze painful phase.
Skateboarding without the pads.
Kiss the pavement, broken bones
At least the hospital was close to home.

Another world school disco.
A new thing called girls.
Chat up technique, hit and miss.
Still remember my first kiss.

Nothing but fond memories.
From a different time, a different age.
Seen through the eyes of a happy child.
Oblivious to how big a world is.

Oblivious to the war Cold war.
The looming threat of Nuclear annihilation.
The Vietnam war.
But then like now, I remember the boat people.

How history has come full circle.
Like hands on the clock.
Grasping for help in this desperate time.
The world seems to be in that small boat.

Syrian child has forgotten the taste of anything sweet.
Hold tight to his mother, as she tries to avoid the sniper.
Belly hungry, empty shelves in looted shops.
Begging for scraps, to get through the day.

Used artillery shell for a football.
Bomb craters for goal posts.
This is his war zone.
Yet still children play.

Bombed out tank is his den.
This is his skateboard, imaginary movement.
But a bonafide target.
To the incoming drone.

Peeled open like a can.
Deafened by the blast.
He kisses the pavement.
He sees but cannot hear his mother screaming.

She tries to comfort him.
Shock sets in, as the world turns red.
No ambulance no hospital no help.
Just his mother’s soft hand, on his brow.

His only comfort is her kisses of love.
He smiles to her, as her features fade.
Different childhoods different times.
Seen through the eyes of a Child.

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