THIS mother watches her children
Playing in the sunshine in their garden.
THAT mother watches her children,
As they play barefoot in the African dust.
THIS mother prepares organic food
To tantalise the taste buds of her family.
THAT mother wonders if there will
Be enough mealie-meal on which to survive.
THIS mother hears the laughter of her children
As they play in a garden full of toys.
THAT mother hears only the cries of her baby
As it cries hopelessly for milk.
THIS mother feels the quality of the
Designer tee-shirt she irons.
THAT mother feels the bones of her
Children desperate for food.
THIS mother smells the aroma of fresh
Bread baking in her oven.
THAT mother smells only the stench of death
That permeates all around her
As one by one babies die.
THIS mother’s son asks:
“Mum, what is social justice?”
THAT mother’s son replies:
“IT IS LOVING YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF.”
Copyright on all my poems
In 2010 teachers and children in many Yorkshire schools chose this poem, along with almost 400 poems, for publication. It was published by AMS Educational, Leeds, in my book "Reflections", one of five books. Unfortunately it is out of print as my publisher retired and sold his business to a publisher who does not publish children's poetry. It is available, I know for certain, in Ilkley Library, part of Bradford Libraries. I hope you also would have chosen it as a thinking/reflective/discussion poem for your class. Josie