The shoes

Nilufer Demir, photographer from Turkish news agency

“It was a year ago today…” the reporter began this morning on NPR as she reflected on the story of this young of refugee, would – be – immigrant,  washing up on shore. 

A year ago today this image was shared all over the world. An image that spanned race, creed and origin to touch the hearts of our common humanity with sadness and a cry for compassion.  He was just a child. Not a thief nor a murderer but just a child following his parents to a place of safety and hope. As I settle in for bed tonight his image is before me. 

May our hearts be softened as we face the pain and suffering of our world. May we learn to listen and respond with support and compassion. May we pray for peace and make it so. 

The Shoes


It was the shoes
that broke your heart.

The sweet boy, chubby in the flesh
was laying down on the beach
Face in the waves

He almost looked like he was sleeping
Except that this sleep
Had no awakening.

It was the world’s conscience that seems to be asleep
with little sign of awakening.

You couldn’t see the boy’s face.
Aylan is his name.
Aylan was his name.
Aylan was the name his momma called him.

You couldn’t see Aylan’s face,
But you saw the shoes that a parent,
Had lovingly put on him earlier that day.

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