Freya Cox: ‘Forgotten Children’

This story was published in the Commissioner for Children Young Creative Writers Awards: Winning Entries 2015 book.

Freya Cox was an Overall Winner. Entries for the 2016 awards are now open.

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they give us pencils to draw with

feeling pleased at their generosity

they do not wait to see the pictures

that appear

childish scrawls

with haunting undertones

of pain

and sadness

tears drip from the pages

in blue crayon

blood splatters

in pink marker


mama said here we could play outside

run around

and send our voices spinning up to the clouds

without being silenced in fear


i tried that once

only once

yelling, chasing my brother and shouting out to the clouds

i got yelled at in return

now i am silent


they tell us we are illegal

i do not understand


i am seven

how can i be illegal?



we used to play with kites

dancing, swooping, vibrant birds on strings

squares of colour against the glaring white sun

anchored to our adoring hands

flying in the open sky


now we play in the dust

behind a fence

that seems to shrink inwards each day

until it closes in completely

and crushes us


do they remember when they look at us

that we are children

or have they forgotten

are we now nothing but