VIRGINIA SENIOR POET LAUREATE
Penelope A. Thoms

THERE ARE NO CHILDREN HERE


They were blown away in holocaust ashes.
Small bits, the size of buttons or petals were found
On hillsides, in hedgerows, or sprinkled in summer gardens.

Here there are no children.

They were taken by the fairies wanting something sweet.
The little ones, just bite sized, melted on the tongue.
Everyone was hungry then.
The youngest, taken first, toddled toward the open arms,
the gaping mouth of famine.

There? No children are here.

They were murdered: burned, shot, killed in cities, towns,
east, west, north and south.
They flamed briefly, small candles.
Fireworks became firebomb
in a place where there are no birthdays.

Are there children here? No.

Now there are tears where there were children.
Mothers rend their hands, keen and call for them.
But they hear no sound.

There are no children here.

Penelope A. Thoms
Lovettsville, Virginia
PENELOPE A. THOMS, 63, Lovettsville, hospice chaplain and director, lives with her husband, two dogs, rabbit, guinea pig and fish in an old farm house. Her play “A New Year's Tale” was produced in 2008 in Reston, Va. Her book “Thin the Veil” was written during 6 years in Ireland. Sign: Gemini.