Under The Rubble I Spy a Child’s Doll

A moment of silence observed at UNSCOL in solidarity with the Syrian people 

15 Mar 2017

Under The Rubble I Spy a Child’s Doll

Under The Rubble I Spy a Child’s Doll

Under the rubble, I spy a child’s doll

Is there anyone here? I desperately call

I arrived in a town

For many it was home

Now there is nothing but carnage,

And buildings standing alone

The shadows they cast are ever so dark

As dark as the hearts who’d leave such a mark


This is a town of the past

Where I hear the mothers weep

They call for their children,

Who are now in God’s keep


Buried among the slabs of concrete

I spy a child’s doll

Is there anyone here? I desperately call


Buried as well, are the dreams of life

The dream of a mother to find her son a wife

The dream of a brother to see his sister married

Are now dead in his arms while to her grave she’s being carried

The dream of a father to send his daughter to school,

Oh how these dreams are buried now,

Under the rubble; so cruel


The bullet holes in tiny bodies tell the sad tale of Humanity

Of how a single bullet on a child killed all hope for serenity


A mother’s scream sends chills down my spine; I look down… and spy a child’s doll…

Is there anyone here? I desperately call


Where just yesterday

The gardens were filled with flowers

There is just destruction, for miles and for hours

Where children sang songs full of life

Are now playgrounds only filled with blood and with strife


I think of those fortunate ones who dare to be alive

I think of the mother’s who’s children were their life

How dare you cherish the gift of your safety?

While tonight I hear the cry of a mother for her baby


Slowly, I look up from the doll at my feet

I see a shadow emerge from the smoke and the heat

My heart is overwhelmed by sight of someone living

But as the figure comes closer, I see I’m only dreaming

Another mother with a dead child in her arms

She is alive

But not living

Her heart will be buried with the body of her child

“Hush, my child is sleeping” she whispered, then smiled


“Please tell the soldiers

To leave us alone

They took away my mother, my father and my home

My baby sleeps with his head on my arm

Forever I will keep him away from all harm

Just tell the soldiers to make no noise

My child is asleep, oh those stupid boys”


I walk slowly and take the unmoving child from her

I lay him down and with a white cloth I cover

She fell to her knees and didn’t say a word

But I knew what she was looking at, was her whole entire world

One last kiss on her baby’s forehead

Made her realize; he was dead.


I leave her alone, to sit and to weep

Under the rubble, I spy a child’s doll

God are you out there!? I desperately call

This poem is dedicated to all mothers and children suffering as a result of violence. Sabir Mughal

Sabir Mughal is UNDSS Chief in Lebanon. He wrote this poem while he was UNDSS Chief in Syria from 2012 to 2015