A Child’s Cry

Jane Okot P’ Bitek Langoya

Africa, Uganda

My stomach twists painfully and in rhythm
As the intestines growl in chorus
To the orchestra of my hunger pangs.

I chase away in vain, my chief rivals
The flies, the dogs and the marabou stock
As I sink my short feet into the depths of the filth
In search of my next lunch, supper, and/or breakfast.

It is now three days since I last had a meal.
That was a sumptuous piece of something
That I could not even identify from sight
The colour, smell and taste must have changed
But I thoroughly enjoyed it and thanked the good Lord
For the hearty meal.

I also thanked Him for all your people.
Who throw food in the rubbish heap for me and my kind
And I pray that your generosity continues for ever!