“Who did you lose?” Istanbul, 28 June 2016

Posted: June 30, 2016 in Political musings, Popular Culture et al
Tags: , , , , , , ,



Who did you lose?

Was that your husband lying there? With half his head missing.
The one who held you in those strong arms for the first time, all those years ago.
The face which gave you a weary smile after work every evening. Sharing food.
The man you moulded yourself to, every night, and fell asleep, safely.

Who did you lose?

Was that your son, lying there?
Arms entwined with the airport trolley he was blown into.
Was he leaving to study abroad? Or just a vacation?
His first time away from home.
That crooked, shy smile you will never see again.
Look: his jeans are torn. He would have hated that.

Who did you lose?

Was that your daughter? Is that your other daughter?
You were just there to wave her off.
On her way back to her husband, and her two small children.
You never wanted her to move away.
But just yesterday she smiled at you over coffee and said “You’ll always be my Mumya. Where would I be without you?”

Who did you lose?

So sorry to broadcast your grief, but we need to touch it. Need to ask. Need to know.
Because they weren’t “41 dead”. They were your family.
Your blood, being washed away. Blood of your blood.
Cannot hold your gaze, but must. All must.
All humanity has failed you.
And next week, we will fail another, again.
Another Mother. Father. Son. Daughter.

  1. Norman Mills says:

    This is beautifully written . It is such a sensitive , caring , humanely crafted poem. The media had just seemed to treat this atrocity as ‘ just another terrorist episode’ , but the writer has not allowed the journalists- or the Western world- to generalise the suffering caused here. You have emphasised the personal suffering of families – from wherever they came from- whoever they were. This is a horrible period of all our lives- where racism has reared its ugly head, but the writer does great service to the World ‘ family’ – sensitively helping us all to remember , that the whole of humanity feels the utmost pain in the loss of their loved ones by such brutality. Following the death of Jo Cox recently too- we all acknowledged that Love must conquer Hate. Amen to that.


    • Stephen Yolland says:

      Very generous words, Norman, thank you. We have to personalise these events, or we just become hardened, and they will never end.


  2. […] Source: “Who did you lose?” Istanbul, 28 June 2016 […]


  3. underwriiter505 says:

    Speechless with tears.


  4. gwpj says:

    Powerful, and so clearly said that it cuts to all hearts that bleed with grief when they read it. Thank you for sharing this wonderful poem with us.


  5. gwpj says:

    Reblogged this on What I write and commented:
    There is such grief from the trade in that Turkish airport that I can’t help but reblog this beautifully composed and deeply felt poem written and shared by Stephen Yolly. Feel free to comment on it.


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