Poem in response to Clean Water and Sanitation
By Mofe Akinyanmi
CC Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
It trickles slowly
Down the lips,
Slithers through the throat,
A quick, cool stream
Into the stomach.
A feeling of relief slowly takes hold of your body.
The scorching sun takes revenge on your skin.
Burning, you pour once again.
First it dampens your hair,
Then runs down your face, your mouth catching drops as it continues to go.
It goes down your stomach,
Soothing the sun-burnt skin,
And makes its way down your legs
Until it reaches your feet.
‘Don’t waste it, that’s all we have for today,’ she scolds.
You begin to cap the bottle, which is now only half full, when your sister runs past you and knocks it out of your hands.
The clear bliss sprawls across the ground.
Your eyes fill with tears, knowing that there won’t be anymore ‘till tomorrow.
You are deaf to your mother’s words, your ears plugged with regret.
The journey to the well is much too far to make again today.
Your sister cries, thirsty but there is none to drink.
Night arrives, and you lie down, not able to sleep because you cannot get the thought of water out of your mind.