If it
If it were
If it were your
If it were your children’s bellies grumbling
of course you would feed them
knead stone into bread
until your fingers bled trying
can you squeeze water from clay?
filter impurities away?
with your skin?
steal shelter from garbage bins?
build scrap-tin walls with a cardboard roof
until it rains
filling puddles with the rust
of poverty’s chains
to what land would you flee?
if bombs showered your home?
all order violently destabilized
carry your children on your back
so you might keep their dead bodies from dying
for another day or two
how much time can you purchase?
when you can’t even buy food?
If it were your children’s bellies grumbling
If it were your
If it were
If it


Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.

118 thoughts on “If

  1. So very, very powerful, Tanya… Words fail me. Oh, how many situations exist in our world today to which one could apply your poignant verses! This one deserves a poetic medal of honor, my friend! (And the accompanying photo is perfect, of course.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Jonathan! Your words are really encouraging for me. There are so many people, so many children, in need. Healing and solutions come when we love them as our own. Everything else fall short. Have a wonderful day, my friend! And thank you, again!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can so resonate with your feelings. These things tear at my soul and you described them in a way that really sums up the tragedy that tears at we that are helpless and want so badly to do something for these babies!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I suppose you want the XL jar of sunbeams? We have so much sun that a number of our senior citizens have skin surgeries for melanoma. So don’t go crazy with all those sunbeams! Just a little warmth and a touch of color…


        Liked by 1 person

      2. Excellent! Thank you! I have so many trees in the back that once the leaves come in, you can’t even see the neighbor’s house. It’s my sanctuary. Have a great day, Steve, and thanks for the sunshine!😊

        Liked by 1 person

      3. With my children running around, I’m rarely alone…Lol
        I enjoy company, but I like my family’s quiet times too. When the weather gets nice, we will sit out on the deck with lots of candles until late…sometimes with company…sometimes just us. Have a beautiful weekend, Steve! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You should be given a slot to read this out at the United Nations Tanya. Not only horrified by the pictures coming out of Syria at the moment, but by the sitting on hands rhetoric coming from senior officials all amounting to doing nothing.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Agreed, Robert. It reduces flesh and blood, unique humans to statistical by-products…numbers and not names. Each one of those people had a place and purpose, an individual note to play in the great human symphony.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. “Collateral damage” is people! It sounds so innocuous. Oh, yeah, that collateral damage. Not the murder of an innocent wedding party or family gathering. Collateral! Argh! As one who believes in and works with precision in language, this pains me to no end.

        Liked by 1 person

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