By Linda Ann Joseph, Grade 10 , The Indian High School, Dubai

A little esurient waif;
So young, still sucking her thumb,
Distraught in her gunny bag smock,
Living in the ordeal of hunger.
The cry of the lonely child,
Echoes over and over in my ear.
Tears wetting her shrivelled lips,
Full of questions, nobody can answer.
Her bloated belly needles and nags;
She hasn’t eaten for weeks.
Body like a twisted rag
Sucked dry to the bone
Her pitiful eyes glisten in its skull,
The frailty ceases her smile.
Even the azure sky unveils gray on her
She leans over her ailing father,
An old man looking at the heavens.
The mother rummaging in the junk,
Yearning for an apple core or a mouldy bread.
She looked at her young one;
Bewildered and bemused,
Their thoughts read so:
“When will I get my next meal?”
Her breasts were empty,
Hunger had sucked it dry.
There’s still time to act
To approach the dying moppets.
In their hands, they should carry
The books and the days of innocence
Reside they should, in comforts of plenty
Not the dreaded dream of existence
So when you’re eating at the table, ‘God’s Grace!’
And you throw half your food away in vain,
Remember the cries of the poor hungry child.