Thursday, 18 August 2011

Water over head

I look at others passing me
purple mothers
yellow mothers
boys and girls been dragged by the arms
arrastrados
one mother pull a hand
pressed all fingers
light-skin colored
the girl’s name is Aishia
the mama called her
several times last night
fearing her death
we all fear it
but no one say a thing
the child was playing
with tree leaves
also eating them

today all mothers walk with their babies
with their heirs
successors of the hopes of a nation
obligated to keep on foot
obligated by belly ache
some are tall
big eyes
hungry eyes
hungry mouths
famished chests
and mamas
blue mothers
pale mothers
violet mothers
obscure ones
and their skirts
rainbow skirts
they all are so weak
can barely hold them
on the back
on the arms

I hardly can stand myself
looking for clouds
praying for rain
observing
carefully
the head of my second one
so weak
he is just about to speak
but fell over the Dadaab land
I ask for help
which god will help us now?

my other kid
the first one
is awake
closed eyes
flies over the skull
moscas sobre el cráneo
the sky answers my prayer
milagrosamente
water over the heads
water sprinkling the eyelids
water inside the lips
my first open eyes
put out the tongue
my second was silent
she make
an emphatic
no reaction

© Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro

Famine forces mothers to decide which child lives and which dies
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Yolanda is the author of the novel Caparazones (2010) and has won prizes including National Institute of Puerto Rican Literature Prize in 2008. She is a Director of the Puerto Rican Word Festival. 

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