Nowhere to Hide

Andrea Robin Skinner, Canada

There was nowhere for them to hide.
What did they see, oh god, what did they see?
The children torn from families
And killed by diseases--
Diseases of their keepers’ minds.

A school by any other name…?
Extermination Camp.

There is nowhere for us to hide.

We run
From the burning shame,
The burning forests,
The burning remains of life,
Fueling our mad escape.
Now finding ourselves
Ablaze and engulfed by the wind
Of our running, choking on the smoke
And mirrors.

How many bodies of children
Until we hit rock bottom?

Until we come alive to our deadness,

And look into a child’s eyes?

Author Statement

I wrote this poem to cope with the grief that comes up over the children violated and killed in Canada’s genocide. The failure to recognize and cherish the goodness and dignity of children--instead to see children as expendable--kills the future, and I believe keeping our hearts open and facing the devastating truths of the past is our only hope. I feel such broken longing to care for those who died, and when the tears come for them, they also come for me, and you. All children are worthy of love. Always.


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