I asked her to draw her home for me
Using the old cryptographs
Heba, at the age of six,
has managed it in minutes only,
eloquent and minimal,
starting from above –
the helicopter gunship,
its larger and its smaller rotor
seen as simple crosses.
The aircraft is a box,
basic with a snout,
the perspex of its cabin
showing as a line of teeth,
a shark well-satisfied –
as now the barrel bombs are falling,
three of them and each one bigger
heading for the house which is
simple and rectangular
as houses are in Syria.
We see two skinny human symbols,
sticks that children use before
they understand perspective.
One of them is vertical,
the other horizontal,
both enveloped by a red
that’s thinning through to brown.
It is the colour of the gunship
and of the bombs as well –
monochrome in drying blood,
pencil with a wash.
Heba likes to work in threes:
the gunship with its double masts;
the three bombs growing larger and
two bodies with their house between them.
In Serbia, she’s showing Ben.
And then it’s back to fruiting trees,
her grass a ‘vivid green’.