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Friday, January 20, 2012


by Peleg Held

Many tributes to Hamza al-Khateeb, such as this one drawn by a child, were posted to a Facebook group  to commemorate his life and death.  Source: Aljazeera.

Hamza Ali al-Khateeb, a thirteen-year old boy 
tortured and killed in Syria on April 29, 2011. 
He kept homing pigeons.

From my father's roof I rise, circling
the loss I cannot gather with these permeable wings

The bridge from pigeon to dove,
the broken body of a child.
From obedience to unruly honor,
the broken body of a child.

From this day forward the words
I carry will be mine alone,
home or elsewhere.
Words lifted into fury,
legs folded and burned but
still unbanded.

Peleg Held is a writer and a carpenter living with his partner and their brigand children in the southeast United States. He is a former member of Voices in the Wilderness, a campaign to lift the economic sanctions on Iraq and other failed attempts at decency.