barrels – Mohamed Elhassan

my grandfather tells me to stay inside. evening
sun overshadows the sand which flurries

and is dragged and crunched and seized by heavy metal.
this is routine, i am told—

this is where children wear sandals, torn
asunder by little pebbles in the maw

of earth. a cataclysmic embrace
reddens relentlessly, petrifying our land.

these mounds grow like untrimmed redwoods: 
even when rubble is thrown,

and the beast is roused for the shepherd’s amusement,
the little boy, hands clasped and raised to God, runs without halting.

the sand is marked with an indelible etching,
there are lines parallel to one another, immediately followed

by fang, tooth, and nail.
i can smell the smoke of the barrel.
Mohamed Elhassan

Mohamed Elhassan is a rising senior at Hammond High School in Columbia, Maryland. His work mainly incorporates his personal experiences and yet to be adventures. His work can be found in The Mantle, Eunoia Review, and more. During his free time, he likes to write excessively about rain.

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