Photo by Sameer Siddiqui

Peace

Peace is

When all the people of the world

-black, white, yellow –

hold hands

and tear down all borders,

and, united, build the future

that they will offer their children.

 

When all children can play in the streets-

carefree, innocent, untroubled,

-that is peace.

 

When their innocence

is acknowledged and defended

as the most prized possession

-instead of being cruelly punished –

then yes, there is peace.

 

Just as when people act beyond their personal interest

and see that it is in the greater interest

to stand together.

 

But look, these two children

kept fighting all day long,

yet now,

bathed in the beauty of the sunset,

that hides something eternal and mysterious,

they have understood that there is no point in fighting.

 

And with the soft spring breeze

they have fallen asleep

in each other’s arms.

 

That is peace.

 

Listen – millions of people are talking,

each with their own unique story to tell.

 

And you have to listen, because yes!

The first time you looked at someone with disdain,

ignored them, passed them by uncaringly,

because life hasn’t been kind to them,

because you didn’t see anything worthwhile,

or simply because they don’t look like you,

that is when the first division occurred,

and war follows soon enough.

 

I know, there are times

when everything gets tested.

But when, within the smoke,

down in the mouldy basement,

that used to be a storeroom for fresh fruit,

that children used to steal,

but now serves as a shelter

from the bombings,

when there

among the banging and the sobbing

a woman offers her own milk

to a baby

of the other faction

– she found it on her doorstep, wounded.

It had been crying with all its might,

its face full of complaint,

just like the woman’s.

Oh, is it possible that it’s the baby’s fault,

is it? –

Then peace has not been lost.

Hidden among the weapons and the blood

in order to test humanity

awaits

this child – and a million other children –

who, with their strong hands

and the flame of youth,

will restore peace

and distribute it equally

throughout the world.

 

That’s how it always is

in the end.

Myrsini Kagarlis