There’s a child gazing at the future with rheumy eyes,

Every little effort hurts,

The faintest ray of hope seems to have vanished. 

Such a young body under the siege of merciless pangs,

Even his mind has become delirious, left to rust.            
“God please could you send those Uncle Elijah’s birds to me?”

The earnest plea of a child acquainted with abject penury,

His feeble thoughts are his only luxury,

Daily, the sun wakes and sleeps, but still meets his stomach empty.

Why is the world filled with misery?
“Oh God! Can those Uncle Elijah’s birds hurry?”

With feet blistered from having no relationship with shoes,

He makes futile attempts to trudge on to a waste bin,

Alas! A light wind blows him into an unsteady waltz; tossed here and there like a girl’s frock. 

Children like this;

the leaders of an ever promised tomorrow,

Reduced to balloon-shaped heads,

supported by bony necks protesting against the ‘load’

And ball-sized bellies plagued by ulcers with the sting of bees. 

Hopeless… dying… crying…

“Uncle Elijah’s birds haven’t come with food. Do they have their own babies to feed now?”

There will be no future if he dies today.

Susan Nwaobiala
Author: Susan Nwaobiala

Susan Nwaobiala is currently a year-three Literature major in the University of Ilorin, Kwara, Nigeria. She reviews books, writes contents for blogs, is interested in mental health, and likes to interact with people through her bedroom window.

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