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Monday, February 19, 2018


by Darrell Petska

Samir Salim is a White Helmets volunteer in Syria's Eastern Ghouta. Already out on a rescue mission when another air strike hit, Samir rushed toward the smoke: a Syrian government air strike had destroyed his house. He saved his infant nephew, sister, sister-in-law and father, but he could not save his mother crushed by the ceiling. He vows to continue his work.

Save the baby, Samir.
Now, fast to the girls.
Your Papa: Take him!
His cries tear my heart.

Samir, my angel,
release my soul
from this burden of being.
Be strong, as I taught you.

I am above you, Samir.
I am all around.
Tell them we are more,
more than paltry flesh.

Inhabit their eyes, my son.
Toward life's supple altar
draw their misspent hearts.
Show them we can fly.

Darrell Petska learned of Samir Salim and his family and felt a great sadness.