Monday, February 04, 2008

28 A Mother in a Refugee Camp

No Madonna and Child could touch
Her tenderness for a son
She would soon have to forget...
The air was heavy with odors of diarrhea,
Of unwashed children with washed-out ribs
And dried-up bottoms waddling in labour steps
Behind blown-empty bellies. Other mothers there
Had long ceased to care, but not this one:
She held a ghost-smile between her teeth,
And in her eyes the memory
Of a mother's pride....She had bathed him
And rubbed him, down with bare palms.
She took from their bundle of possessions
A broken comb and combed
The rust-colored hair left on his skull
And then--humming in her eyes--began carefully to part it
In their former life this was perhaps
A little act of no consequence
Before his breakfast and school; now she did it
Like putting flowers on a tiny grave


~Chinua Achebe
in his book Collected Poems

28 comments:

Kelly Fineman said...

Heartbreakingly beautiful.

Thank you for sharing it.

Sayyeda said...

Thank you Kelly for stopping by :)

LisaC said...

Chinua Achebe is an author I enjoy. This poem really creates a haunting image for me. Thanks for sharing.

Sayyeda said...

Thanks for stopping by lisac.
I enjoy reading works by Chinua Achebe as well. He's a good writer.

Karen E. said...

This is a heartbreaking piece. Thank you for posting it.

Sayyeda said...

Thanks for stopping by Karen e. :)

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jc said...

hi

Anonymous said...

Dulce et Decourm Est is a better poem

jc said...

nah its all about field mouse

jc said...

and war photographer

jc said...

:)

jc said...

brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Anonymous said...

Look go away jc, and go to La belle dans merci or something, no one wants you here!!!

jc said...

alright dont start on me im on your side anonymous i like dulce to ya know

Anonymous said...

Yeh i guess, but my first sonne is preety good aswell, i don't reall like this poem you???

jc said...

nah its all about la belle dame first sonne is aaaawwwwwfffffuuuulllllll

Anonymous said...

Shut up!!! That is the worst poem EVER!!! I really don't like la belle. It should be made illegal, i have lost all respect for you jc, plz don't reply or i will cry...

jc said...

:( dont wanna upset u anony,ous but field mouse is a shocker!

Anonymous said...

Yeh it is, its phsyco. You know i was in the balkans war. I was a captain for Serbia.

jc said...

liar and i was in the phnom penh massacre i cant believe that you would stoop that low anonymous

Anonymous said...

Mate, shouldn't joke about that. I know you weren't because i am sitting right next to you now in our it lab ;P

jc said...

so doesn't mean i haven't been their in the past yet i can't help wandering who the hell you are ANONYMOUS

Anonymous said...

I am currently working for NASA, i have been to space on the space shuttle with them as I have a degree in astronomy and literature, weird combination..hur?

jc said...

alright anonymous if you've done all these things why dont you care to share youre name with the rest of the world hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh????????????????

jc said...

alright anonymous if you've done all these things why dont you care to share youre name with the rest of the world hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh????????????????

Olivia said...

I love this poem as it almost brings me to tears each time I read it. I am currently doing it for my GCSE's and it is my favourite piece.

Thank You for Sharing!!