National Poetry Month Day 26: Ladan Osman





Sun to God

The children walked.
Then they began to run.
Why are we running, one asked?
No one knew. They ran faster.
They began laughing.
Why are we laughing?
Not one knew. They laughed more.
It was the eve of war but they didn’t know.
The children walked.
The children’s parents walked.
The parents’ parents walked.
Their shadows spilled ahead.
Their shadows lagged behind.
Then, they began to run.
No one was laughing.



Author photo courtesy of author


Ladan Osman is the author of Exiles of Eden, winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and The Kitchen-Dweller’s Testimony, winner of the Sillerman Prize. She has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Lannan Foundation, and the Michener Center. Her work in film includes Sam Underground, The Ascendants, and Sun of the Soil. She is a 2021 Whiting Award honoree and lives in New York. More from this author →