Will I lie on your conscience this night and nights that follow,
Will you rest as uneasy as if your head indeed wore a crown ·
Are your expressions of sympathy just a big, empty hollow
As children die as if they were no more than the sparrows?
Yet He Said that even the death of a sparrow is known,
Somewhere then the death of children is well recorded.
And no doubt every single fallow field that lies unsown
Because ‘in God’s good time’ Mr Hanrahan the rains came not.
I have seen great rivers run so smoothly within their banks,
I have seen them turn to minute trickles of putrid water
I have seen frightening flood waters toss great trees aside –
And known that man has nought to pit against such mighty wrath.
We must bring hope to those whose bitter eyes will haunt us,
Help that is practical, concerning and withal acceptable.
Share with them Judy O’Grady and Colonel’s lady as ye both
Know the sorrows and joys that motherhood brings in its wake.
Most of us have had children who have sickened and sometimes died –
Generally we have children who have recovered from their ailments,
But had we had no recourse to nurses, doctors, hospitals – alas
We too would be mourning the loss of our beloved little darlings.
Life is not really cheap or held cheaply – do you not understand?
Because my skin is brown do I not feel the tenderness of maternity?
Do you think brown skin is hardened to sorrow and feels no pain?
It is not calloused and unfeeling – I care. I care. I do.
In the name of a merciful God, Allah, anyone – help me in my plight,
Help me to survive for a morrow I can manage with my skills.
Teach me your skills that can encompass mine and improve us all –
For you can have no Happy Christmas dawning having lost my good will.
Pam Barrington MBE