Poem: The Little Prince and the Air Force Pilot

“You should have seen the imploded children
you have killed in your last air raid,”
said the little prince to the air force pilot
he had chanced on planet F52.

 “I did not mean to kill children,
when I dropped the bombs,”
answered the pilot.
“If you had not meant to kill them
why, then, did you let your bombs fall
on a tall building, full of apartments?
Apartments are where children live
like bees live in beehives
and birds live in nests on the trees,
and ants in anthills.
What a lethal life you lead.”

Unfazed, the pilot retorted,
“I was after the monsters
who hid in the building.”

“May I point out,”
said the little prince,
pointing his forefinger at the pilot,
“children are children,
they spend their time bonding 
with important toys and ball games;
they cannot be responsible
for who lives with them in the building.”

Still, deeply upset, the little prince turned
to the small fox lying by his feet;
and, without preface, he said,
“the logic of grown-ups is odd, isn’t it?”

This poem originally appeared in the collection “Flawed Landscape” (Interlink Books, 2008). It is dedicated to the children of Gaza and all children in war zones.

Sharif S Elmusa 

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