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My Children Sing

Maybe you are like me and you find yourself flipping through the channels with no thought to what you really want to watch. Its just another mindless night in front of the television. But there is that moment when you hit a station that shows the bloated bellies of what appears to be African children. You have an instant to decide whether or not to change the channel or stay and watch for a few minutes.

The problem is, even if you decide to fly on by, you have already been impacted by that singular image and it haunts your thoughts.  I wrote the following poem over a year ago but was reminded of it as I thought about the children that I will be walking for tomorrow.

My Children Sing

Forgive me.
I ponder why
my children sing
and your children lie…

They lie among the midden heaps,
cast offs of humanity.
A matter of fate’s consequence
is all the difference that exists.
My wealth is not deserved,
no more than their suffering.
I question why.

Forgive me
while I lie.
My children sing
and your children cry…

They cry full tears into empty hands.
Wellsprings of pain are born
from bodies too empty to hope.
I lie on my couch and try to empathize
but how can I understand a life
that is more alien to me than it is to death.
Comfortably, I lie.

Forgive me
while I cry.
My children sing
but your children die.

They die.
Thin-armed with bloated bellies
they watch the inevitable approach
of the final horseman through crusted eyes.
No one gives to them
but they give to the flies.
I attend their despair and simply cry.

Forgive me.
I watch them die
while my children sing
and yours question why.

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