FEB (May 14,1953 / Pittsburgh, PA)

Refugee Mother And Child

No Madonna and Child could touch
that picture of a mother's tenderness
for a son she soon would have to forget.
The air was heavy with odours

of diarrhoea of unwashed children
with washed-out ribs and dried-up
bottoms struggling in laboured
steps behind blown empty bellies. Most

Source: http://cdn3.independent.ie/migration_catalog/Non-Staff/article25055826.ece/ALTERNATES/h342/Famine

mothers there had long ceased
to care but not this one; she held
a ghost smile between her teeth
and in her eyes the ghost of a mother's
pride as she combed the rust-coloured
hair left on his skull and then -

singing in her eyes - began carefully
to part it… In another life this
would have been a little daily
act of no consequence before his
breakfast and school; now she

did it like putting flowers
on a tiny grave.

User Rating: 4,8 / 5 ( 4 votes ) 22

Rudyard Kipling


Comments (22)

I don't know why the black slaves are allowed to learn god's language, English. Someone chain these up! !
Quite a beautiful piece of poetry. Achebe, our great ancestor.
Beautiful poem such clarity
“Refugee mother and child “ lovely poem metion for the poem mother and childhood
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