Walking down the harbourfront I saw
A broken woman
Clutching a babe in her arms
Her face a mask of quiet desperation.
And as she looked past me
I could not help but wonder
Through what deserts had she walked?
Had the burning sands scorched her feet?
Had the glaring sun bowed her head?
Did the vultures cling to her like a shadow
Eager to strip flesh from bone?
Or had she walked the vast tundra
Naked feet bitten by ice and snow
Her tracks erased by a bitter western wind?
Had the winds weathered her fair skin
Made it tough like the leathery hide
Of some beast of burden?
And had she seen the glittering peaks of the icebergs?
Amidst the stench of raw sewage and cigarette smoke
I could not help but wonder
What cruel fates doomed her to such suffering.