Not even three years old,
Dark eyes, no fear.
Hey, little thief, have a biscuit
And see what you can pinch
While you’re here.
Little black orphan, HIV child,
I’ll be sweet to you while I can.
But I can see in that small face
A short limpid future
And some ghastly man.
Your eyes scan the room, Mercy May,
Even water pleases you.
You clutch the doll, you smile,
Pearly teeth, there’s no way
I can change your route
As life teases you.
My so English hands sketch you quickly,
Try to sit still, I say.
I’ll give you a dollar and some food,
And a wish and a prayer
And a small piece of my heart
When you toddle away.
Catherine Broughton is a novelist, a poet and an artist. She has lived all over the world and spends several months a year in Belize where she has befriended some of the village children. Mercy May died in a road accident a few months after this poem was written. More about Catherine Broughton on http://www.turquoisemoon.co.uk.
Click below for “Grass Grows” (Catherine Broughton’s poetry):-