, April 22, 2024

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Sun to God

  •   1 min read
Sun to God
manhhai via Flickr


War, impend­ing war and exile forced by war, are increas­ing pre­oc­cu­pa­tions in the work of Ladan Osman—not so much the wars, but the dam­age that they do to every­day peo­ple who are try­ing to live in this world. In ​“Sun to God”, these walk­ing chil­dren and their par­ents, these laugh­ing chil­dren and their par­ents, will even­tu­al­ly start to run, and will even­tu­al­ly stop laugh­ing. It is a vivid­ly cap­tured account­ing of the wars that con­tin­ue to be waged around us.

By Ladan Osman

The children walked.
Then they began to run.
Why are we running, one asked?
No one knew. They ran faster.
They began laughing.
Why are we laughing?
Not one knew. They laughed more.
It was the eve of war but they didn’t know.
The children walked.
The children’s parents walked.
The parents’ parents walked.
Their shadows spilled ahead.
Their shadows lagged behind.
Then, they began to run.
No one was laughing.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2022 by Ladan Osman, “Sun to God” from The Rumpus, April 26, 2022. Poem reprinted by permission of the author and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2022 by The Poetry Foundation.

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