Drought (A poem for Somalia)

this is where hurt lives
buried beneath the cracks of dry soil
and dispersing into the folds of a body whose
hunger has taught it that pain resides at the bottom
of your belly, in that corner of your gut that differentiates
between your children and knows who to feed first and who
can cope another night on saliva and prayer alone
the exact moment a mother’s heart breaks is like the sound
of a wound when it is opening for the first time, bursting with fury
it shatters so loud that you can feel the hairs on the back of your neck
stand at attention, a moment of silence, three thousand miles away
‘You were not created to suffer’, she says, to this body
whose stretched limbs has returned to its birth weight
three years and a hundred meals less later
this child, whose swollen belly is a cruel reminder that humans can be
both full and empty at once, carries the dreams of his parents with every gasp of breath, imagine a love so strong that it can keep your child alive
here, in the land that refuses to weep loss in form of rainfall
are human beings starving for a chance to grow beyond their birth weight
and to know more than where hurt resides
humans whose visible rib cages are a stark reminder that both the body and the land possess a selfish thirst that feasts on tears and sweat
and even then, our hunger will only serve as proof that we are still alive
and that we will not wilt and perish
but instead grow taller towards the sun


Please consider donating to Caawiwalaal to help make a huge difference to the catastrophic famine and drought in Somalia. Any spare change is life changing. This is a great organisation that you can also follow via Twitter Thank you.

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