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Mary Ethridge-Majayda: In His Father's Arms

In His Father's Arms

Dr. Mary Ethridge-Majayda

…to every child martyr of the Intifada…

I saw him today
in his father's arms
those arms that held him with tender love
those hands held his as he learned to walk
and sometimes those hands
played and tickled him too
those same arms held him as he sat
squirming and wiggling on his Father's knee
while they looked in love at eachother
and shared laughter and smiles

I saw him today
in his father's arms
he was so still and it broke my heart
those arms carried him away from the enemy
but it was too late
those hands will meet last needs
those arms will soon be empty
he was too still in those loving arms
his eyes were closed into forever
it was fathers eyes that were expressive

I saw him today
in his father's arms
I could not look any longer at his sweet child face
his clothing was rumpled and dirty
as any little boy by rights should be
but he was so very still
his little boy mischief was gone
his hair lay in beautiful ringlets
his little boy hands hung limp
the empty pain in his father's eyes broke my heart

I saw him today
in his father's arms
his clothing covered in blood
his father's expression far past anguish
he walked down the streets of his home town
there is just one more journey ahead
a little boy on his way to a bath
then the walk to the place where he will rest
In forever he will know joy
He'll interceed for his mother to the end of her time

I saw him today
in the arms of his father
in my mind I will never forget the pain
in the eyes of that father forever
his arms are already empty
that moment comes far too soon
when we lay to rest a child of our heart
he could not save him
he would if he could
but he hurried him away from the danger

one last time in his father's arms


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