every grain a life

waiting for the relief trucks



We wait patient,

Spits of flesh,

Wrapped against the sun,

Bowls ready, lips dry.

Trucks expected at ten.


Sirens. Arrival imminent.

Dust clouds flare shimmering.

Distances diminishing.

Wait wilting, begging bowls lifted.

Smiling faces. Helmets. Blue and white.

Guns holstered. Foreign voices.

Don’t stop. We run, chase.

Sacks cast. Breaking. Burst.

They watch us scrabbling –

Every dusty grain a life –

Laugh at hunger’s theatre. Retreat.


I gather what I can and return.

Adam looks up as I enter,

Drops back to twitching sleep.

Ehva does not stir.

I stoop, check if she’s warm.




© PilgermannBM 2023
UKA Editor's Pick!
Views: 1032
critique and comments welcome.
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It has all been said by the others – I can only concur; the imagery is harrowing – how can I say I enjoyed the poem? Maybe just let it work as it should be.

Sorry, you have lost me there. Why do you say it is not a poem?


This is a moving poem. Humanity needs people to record everything that happens, no matter how harrowing, because people need to know.

The last two lines are heartbreaking.


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