Little Boy Blue

Little Boy Blue

Little boy blue so brave and dauntless with
his mother’s hand in his hand
they fled for life their home and land

Dauntless, brave, this little boy in
blue shorts and red shirt, wearing sneakers too,
— like you or me when only three.

Oh, the chill of his fears — but, but
the thrill of a first ride in a boat.
Nay, a boat they say too small for
all in flight from their homes and land.

Whether wave or swell of sea rocked
that boat so high and too hard or
an accidendental shove from
gunwall crowds, we’ll never know.

I fear my fear struggling to refuse
to hear his last gurgle for air for life as the
great ocean of all our misery and woe
corrupt demon kings choked his breath.

Now see his red shirt, folded arms,
blue shorts and sneakers toes pointing up
to the shrieking gulls— thus this is
all we see and know — there’s our child in the surf.

In surf our bubbling cries go out
to the sea and heartless wind,
the sea of humanity in a plea and a prayer:
Oh! How can we bring this child of grace
and innocence back to breath, a bike to ride
with his giggle and smile?

Little boy blue with your body pressing
into the sand, what is your name?
Your favorite game or toy? Bedtime story?.

There’s a child in the surf, this child
wearing his red shirt, short blue pants,
thin legs, as if in tender sleep and dreaming — so
so sleep, sleep my child, our child,
everyman’s child.

Yes — Yes, our child in the surf with
soft waves tickling his lifeless feet,
lapping over him a funereal pall of water.
Our child in red, now blue, in the sand and surf,
under screeching sea gulls,
face up to the silent heavens.

(Dear reader, everytime I saw the pictures of his lifeless body
in the surf and sand, I wept. I took pen in hand to heal.
Here is the eighth draft.)


About Ciletti

Jim Ciletti, an award winning poet, filmmaker, and author, is the 2010-2012, Poet Laureate of the Pikes Peak region, and for 41 years, poet-in-residence for the Orme School Fine Arts Festival. Jim gives many workshops on the writing and performance of poetry, and makes poetry house calls to create personal poetry events. Ciletti loves everything Italian, including cooking for family and friends, and loves to plant garlic, make homemade wine, and eating peaches and plums. "Everyday is Christmas, but you don't always get everything you ask for. Sometimes more. Poetry celebrates life."
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