by Michelle W Bernhard on Monday, April 23, 2012 at 11:04pm

There… this slick glossy magazine in the doctor’s office. I’m in a hurry as I often am, and there are many people waiting. Reaching over to take up the magazine, I open it up and come across those eyes.

Child with the haunting eyes, who are you? This pitiful, meager little face looking up from the page into mine, full of bewilderment that overlies yet underscores the hunger, the flies, the pus, the dirt, the pain that only that child must know, that I have never known.

Child with the haunting eyes, living in a war zone, one with no bombs perhaps, one with sirens and exhaust fumes perhaps, one with only dust and flies and thirst and cold and the stomach that no longer cramps with hunger because hunger is a luxury long forgotten… Where discrimination and deprivation are what you were born into, and will continue all your life until they probably end it far too soon! one way or another.

Child with the haunting eyes, the light dim in them, empty of the hope that never was and may never will be, no accusation, only hurt acceptance, living and dying far away and not far…no, not far…

Child with the haunting eyes, if my life had been other you might have been mine…

and so, as your might-have-been mother, I pray I have not found you too late.


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