Mama, I'm thirsty, and hungry

My tummy hurts, also at night,

My hair and skin are now so dry.

I am only 8 years old.


My baby brother cries.

He is hungry, too.

You say your milk has stopped.

You need food and safe water.


Daddy died some months ago.

Villagers say he killed himself.

There were so many debts.

He tried to find water and food for us.


You say I can't go to school.

I must carry water so we can live.

The water vase is large and very heavy

Almost as large as I am, Mama.


The nearby stream and well are dry.

I walk so far, now twice a day.

I stand in line then at the well.

Will I ever learn to read? Become a teacher?


You married off my big sister

Now one less mouth to feed here.

But I know she's not happy.

Her eyes are sad and full of fear.


Will we lose our house as well?

Without home and land, can we survive?

I am so very thirsty, Mama.

Can we really stay alive?


Will I grow up? I am not so sure.

I get very sick. I cannot play.

You talk about the big city.

But where there would we stay?


I have hopes and I have dreams.

They seem so far away.

Like our water, dreams disappear.

I can only hope and pray.


Mama, I'm Thirsty!


WUNRN - 2011