This Is Not Islam

bombed buildings
When the soldiers come, it is the middle of the night.
Smashing through the door, they drag me from my bed,
two of them stay with my wife.
As she begins to scream I struggle. They hit me
with a rifle butt. To fight back they say,
will only increase the damage they do. My son wakes and runs to me
crying, saying “Abby,” “My father, what is happening?”
One soldier grabs my son’s shirt ripping the collar,
holding him back from me.
I hold my arms out to him, my son, I love you.
To save my wife’s life, I don’t fight them.
I am a good husband and father. Tonight I failed.

When the two soldiers come from my bedroom
one buckles his belt. A rifle is pushed into my eye.
“You will fight with us or you and your family will die.
They will die first. Get ready. We will be back for you.”
As they leave, with blood in my face I find my wife.
She cries as she dresses herself. She is in pain.
I tell her to pack a bag, we are leaving. I hear
explosions outside. There is fire and screaming.
I heard at my job that a man has a boat. For
money he will take us.

We run from house to house. Through the park
down dark streets to the harbor. We walk up the coast
It is a long night. We are stopped. “What do you want?”
a voice says. “We want to leave. I have money.”
“Give me the money.” The man steps from the shadow.
I give him what I have. “Not enough,” he says.
“Only your wife and child. You stay.”
“Please,” I plead. “I will work for you! Anything.”
“You have a cell phone?”
I hand it over. He looks it over, turns it on.
“Get in.” He motions to the boat. “Under the tarp.”

“Where will you take us?” “Quiet! It is dangerous.”
My son cries softly to himself.
“What is happening, father?” I sooth him.
“We must leave our life. The fighters have come.
This is not Islam. This is not our God.”
“Where will we go?” my wife asks. She will not speak
of what happened.
“I don’t know. People are going to Greece. I never thought
this would happen. We will try to go to America maybe.
I hear there are many refugees there.”
I sob uncontrollably now. Our lives are forever
changed. We a refugees. This is not Islam.

I put this together from stories and news items I have read online. I hope I didn’t plagiarize anyone.

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The Sword Of Freedom

bloody sword
As hands are brushed together, dead bodies fall like dust
and a girl in a dress called freedom whirls and twirls
but makes no sound but the sound of a mothers cry.

With the constitution in one hand and a bible in the other,
flames suddenly leap and turn them to ash and
they blow away on the wind called justice.

Crowds leave the synagogue, cathedral and mosque and file
into the furnace while factories make more furnaces
and governments send more children to burn.

The minds eye is blind and feeling it’s way to find
emptiness and sorrow where love once lived.
Time turns backward to other wars with the same stench.

Liberty’s crack grows wider and the clapper has
disappeared to be replaced by the
sword of freedom, and a mother cries again.

And do we watch with hands folded in laps and on
our knees pray to a god who doesn’t listen? And do
we tell our children that this is righteousness?

As our world disappears in flame and ash do
we wish we had done the right thing? Do we say the
words that will set all to right, or collect our pay?

As the wars rage on and refugees muliply we go to our
jobs with blinders in place and plugs in our ears and
pretend we do not see the girl dancing. And bleeding.

And as she falls to the ground her wounds ooze into
the sand and she reaches out to be picked up but
we turn away, not wanting to get our clothes dirty.

With clean hands and clothes some walk away, but
some stoop to carry away the hurt and their
voices are being heard. Quietly now, but getting louder.