"Invisible Children "

by Tianna Sicilia

I see all of these faces looking back at me from a projection screen on a wall.
I know I should feel somehow apart from them, but I don't.
My heart is aching painfully in my chest.
These children have witnessed horrible things.
Their eyes look so much older than they are.
Is this the cruelty of life staring back at me?

I feel the need to scream, to put a stop to such suffering.
Who let these atrocities pursue for twenty years?
I feel the need to run, to shake someone hard.
"Can you ignore the burning in your chest?" I would ask.
For I cannot.
I feel the need to travel to this distant place, to give hope to all those unseen.

Can you not feel it?
I cannot turn my cheek to this as others surely have.
As I see the crying boy on the projection screen, as I witness those tiny, starved bodies
lying on the floor of the bus park, I realize something.
They are invisible no more.
And as I see their passion for life even in desperate times… their smiles, dancing on legs
that barely support their swollen bodies.

I think to myself, they have so much more spirit than the rest of us.
Even as we watch this film in the safety of our homes and schools…
How it captures their most intimate moments…
I remember we are all as one, all the same being.
Who are we to ignore those in pain when we are just the same?
The only difference lies in geography.

Suddenly my daily problems seem so minute, so meaningless.
The only thing in my mind is anger, frustration and sorrow.
I feel for them, with them, as they are and as I am.
We are one.
With a painful thought, I realize I could be in their place just as easily.
Who am I if I do not help them?

At this moment
I realize I won't have peace of mind or clear conscience without taking action.
For if they are I, and I am they, I need to help them to help myself.
We are all strung together in this chain gang, so I notice.
I feel if they are left to the winds by me, then just as simply I could be left as well.

So I stand tall, wipe my tears away, and swear to change the world.

Stories & Poems from Around the World

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