Souiri Children / Les Enfants Souiri


A poem by E. Amato from her book Will Travel. Inspiration found in Essaouira, Morocco.

will travel cover.jpg


The boy children

kick anything round

small as it is

from one side of the stone street

to the other

from one doorway

past a few alleys

however they can


throngs of people present no obstacle


ball the size of a handball

a tennis ball a baseball

a toddler’s first ball


there are no soccer balls here


but a ball is a ball

a boy is a boy

and they will kick

then they will throw themselves

onto rainwashed stone

to stop its progress before it escapes

their grasp


they are loud with each other

they are joking

they are running and loping

between the tourists

the stall-keepers the daily shoppers

the mothers and grandmothers


the boys do not see them

only the round object

and their friends


the girl children

i do not see them


i do not see them at all.


Les enfants masculins

frappent tout ce qui est rond

petit comme il est

d’un côté de la rue en pierre

de l’autre

d’une embrasure de la porte

au-delà de quelques ruelles

peu importe comment ils peuvent


des foules de gens ne posent aucun obstacle


ballon de la taille d’un handball

d’une balle de tennis d’un baseball

du premier ballon d’un bambim


il n’y a aucun ballon de foot ici


mais un ballon est un ballon

un garçon est un garçon

et ils frapperont

il se jetteront

sur la pierre lavé par la pluie

afin d’arrêter son progrès avant qu’il n’échappe

leur poigne


ils sont bruyants ensemble

ils se rigolent

ils esquivent en bondissant

parmi les touristes

les marchands forains les habitués quotidiens

les mères et grand-mères


les garçons ne les voient pas

rien que l’objet rond

et les copains


les enfants feminins

je ne les vois pas


je ne les vois pas du tout.




E. Amato is a Berlin-based published poet, award-winning screenwriter, and established performer, with three poetry collections released by Zesty Pubs: Swimming Through Amber, Will Travel, and Daughters of Invention. She has been featured in KCET’s LA Letters as one of five emerging female writers. Her poetry is included in Tia Chucha Press’s The Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts of Los Angeles, Voices from Leimert Park Redux: Los Angeles Anthology, and 1001 Nights: Twenty Years of Redondo Poets. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Translator Catherine S. Webster, Ph.D., is dean of the College of Liberal Arts and professor of French at the University of Central Oklahoma. She has lived, studied, and taught French literature in New York City, Paris, and Asheville, North Carolina.

Illustrator/designer Joanna Winograd is an artist illustrator based in Berlin. Her approach reflects the influences of the multiple countries and cultures where she grew up and has lived. Inspired by this plurality, she creates a style that is simultaneously naive, dark, ruthless, lucid, and optimistic. Visit her website for more.