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The Child Lying On The Shore

Marius Van den Berg is an Dutch author of books and writings about grief and loss.  Below is the translation of his poem about Aydan, the three year old Syrian boy whose body washed ashore after the boat his family was fleeing in capsized.

See the small child lying on the shore?
Neither splashing water or playing with sand,
Neither building a castle or digging a hole.

See the small child lying on the shore?
Neither father or mother anywhere to be seen,
His little corpse just washed up here.

A gentle hand raised him up
A stranger’s hand in a strange land
A gentle hand bore him away

The tide ebbs and flows
Life goes on people say
But somehow now transformed

The darling child can no longer flee
That pretty child has left his mark
A small child has pierced our jaded hearts

Unquenchable pain
A bitter song wailed

Marius Van den Berg
translated by Terri Potoczna Fussen



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