We all know that saying, “It’s always the innocent that suffer.” How many times have we said that as we sorrowfully switch off the news and desperately search for something to distract our minds from the reality of the horrors that we’ve just witnessed?

Civil war is almost worse than the international sort because it’s neighbours and friends and sometimes family who are turning against tribes, clans and groups of a different faith.

The current events in the Middle East remind me of that man I saw in my head a few years ago who had lost all hope. He was from Kosovo.

I Thought I Knew Pain

I thought I knew pain,

Until I saw them shoot my wife.

They grabbed her like a piece of meat,

And took away her life.

She fell to the ground,

They shouted, “Keep moving south!”

Her body bent in agony,

Dust flew into her mouth.


I jumped down to hold her,

Her body looked a wreck.

Her eyes had stopped moving,

Blood trickled down her neck.

I was hit in to stomach

With the butt of a gun.

They pulled me away,

I cried, “Look what you’ve done!”


They laughed as they went

And pulled the trigger once more.

They called me a dog,

And my beloved, a whore.

Enjoying their evil,

They were so full of mirth,

Telling us all,

We don’t belong on this Earth.


I looked at the soldier,

As she lay at his feet.

We used to play together,

As kids, in the street.

We were once neighbours,

Who looked out for each other,

We had him round for Christmas,

She nursed his sick mother.


I cannot believe

What I have become.

I stare into space,

My heart is so numb.

We’ll be across the border

In less than a mile,

But all I can think of

Is my dear wife’s smile.

The victim of,

An atrocious crime,

I couldn’t even hold her,

For one last time.


A man pushed his way forward,

And came up to me,

He said, “See it like this,

Your wife is now free.

But my girl was raped,

By five soldiers over there,

Now she’ll never have the children

She wanted to bear.

She walks two steps,

Then falls down in pain,

She cries day and night,

That she’s going insane.


I look at this man,

How will he cope?

I think of my wife,

I’ve lost all hope.

Before this war started,

I thought I knew pain,

Until I saw how people,

Can be so inhumane.