The Snowdrops Once There

Coco Huang

Oumi loved snowdrops.

She would lie on the grass

with her face to the sky

and tell me to be very still; 

and listen to the

faint music in the wind

to which the snowdrops nodded,

white-winged sprites of spring.

How sweetly they danced

while the younger ones peeped

through Oumi’s dark hair,

hiding their naked shoots

and milky buds 

until they learned to

spread their wings and

flitter in melodious delight.

This is how I remember her;

not with holes in her head

and her red

soil where only

bullet-flowers could grow

and the twelve men who

planted them and

crushed Baba’s skull

under their well-worn boots.


Who will care

for a field of fallen snowdrops

but the few still standing

who must bow

their grieving heads?


Written in memory of the lives lost to the ongoing Syrian conflict, especially the children whose plight cannot be measured in numbers.

Notes: Oumi: mother in Arabic; Baba: father.

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Coco Huang is the sort of person you would find in a library choosing books that look rarely read. She writes fiction, poetry, and music, and is an art enthusiast and avid people-watcher. She tweets sporadically 

@cocoxhuang.