The Courage of a Waif*

A waif of a child
stood in line
and was asked,
“Who is the weakest one?”
“Not I.”
“Run, boy, run.”
He ran but was caught
and was the beaten one.
His friend just watched.
Bruised but unbowed,
not dehumanized nor
brutalized in spirit,
he spoke gently of
forests, woods, waters,
flora and fauna.
“Who is the weakest one?”
“Not I.”
“Run, boy, run.”
Beaten but not bowed,
he spoke of nature.
His friend just watched.
“Strike the thief. He
stole from the Fatherland.”
The boys did.
“I will not.”
He did not.
That waif of a child
stood in line.
“Who is the weakest?”
“Not I.”
“Run, boy, run.”
“I will not.”
His friend just watched.
The waif whispered softly
of flora and fauna
and looked up at a blue, blue sky
before he closed his eyes.
His friend sat by his side
and cried.

*inspiration from All The Light You Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

One thought on “The Courage of a Waif*

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