Uday, One Day
by Jim Aitken
In memory of Uday Abu Mohsen who lived only one day
after being killed during the Siege of Gaza, 2023.
Uday was the baby boy’s name. Uday, it was.
He would have known so little but he would
have known he was someone with being.
He would have been welcomed and loved.
He would have been welcomed with fear
and would have known little of the blast
that ended his one- day old life, mayfly Uday.
Yet he leaves behind much more than a name.
He leaves behind the insanity of surgical strikes,
the criminality of collateral damage, the nonsense
of precision bombing, the lunatic costs – and profits –
of warfare set against the massacre of the innocents.
Uday’s death certificate was bizarrely issued before
any birth certificate arrived and the bombing continued
after his death. But mayfly Uday must be remembered
and not just in Gaza and in Palestine, not just there.
The cry of Uday must be heard in Israel, in Syria, in Iraq,
in Russia and Ukraine, in Yemen, Tigray and Sudan.
Uday’s little whimper should cross oceans, mountains
and plains, teeming cities and deserts, turning louder.
Turning louder all the time so that the whole world
begins to realise that without justice there is no peace;
that only justice can guarantee peace. Uday, one day
peace and justice will reign in your name. Uday, one day.
Jim Aitken is a poet and dramatist living and working in Edinburgh. He is a tutor in Scottish Cultural Studies with Adult Education and he organises literary walks around the city.