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.

126 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

  4. First, I love the intro/outro lines, like a camera coming into focus and reflective of our short attention spanned modern compassion.

    And the poem itself, a powerful reflection on the humanity that lives with the outcomes of powers actions.

    I feel that we are in a time when the poet’s are needed more than ever, for words like yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! That means a lot to me, and I couldn’t agree more. This piece is close to my heart. This view of people, of children, as “ours”, demands that we do something about the problems. I think many people become overwhelmed at the magnitude of these problems and forget that lives are changed one meal at a time, one person at a time.


  5. Such Excellence!!! I loved your “IF” and the word itself. Such an open ended and wistful word! Like “Perhaps”??

    You have such a talent for moving us from one state to another and then looking at ourselves in the mirror. So masterful!!! Powerful words! Bravo, Bravo!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am very happy to do it and have felt it to be a privilege for you to allow us to do it. II do hope you will enjoy it!! I will run the final by you before posting – Oh, and would you like your daughter to receive credit as your daughter or to be named. Let me know as I don’t have it. Your choice. Have I told you how much I like Real Time. It is really special!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, it is much appreciated! In a couple years, my daughter will be ready to watermark her work and publish it, but for now she is okay with leaving her name/credit off.
      Real Time with Bill Maher? I don’t watch much TV, which is why I am asking what is probably a stupid question…Lol
      When all the good shows are on, I am usually writing or editing or shooting one of my goofy shorts.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s