Purple Socks by George Longenecker

Purple Socks

Another photo from Aleppo—
a boy sits on curb crying and talking on his phone,
shattered cement all around him,
next to a body covered by a brown blanket,
not large enough to be an adult—
all we can see are the feet,
wearing purple socks,
a child who awoke and dressed
like it was an ordinary day—
but there are no more ordinary days in Aleppo—
or maybe slept in clothes because they heard planes,
after all they live in a city that has ceased to exist.
The parents,
if they’re still alive,
will bury their child,
still wearing purple socks.

by George Longenecker

Guest Editor’s Note: The first line of this poem suggests the ennui one might feel at seeing yet another photo out of the war zone. Yet the simple poignant detail of the child’s socks works to re-focus our attention on the victims and refresh our empathy.

Please welcome Guest Editor Catherine Rogers from April 3-7, 2017.