Just a huddled shadow on the floor,
No distinguishing lines in its rags –
Could have been a pile of rubbish,
But they knew – had been told
That she wasn't. Just a little girl.
It was far, far too late when,
At last, they had arrived
And as we have been told before
She was much too far out all her life
And not waving, but drowning.
The girl-child is still now
And no hungry whimpers mar
Her eternal silence; beauty in tragedy,
Pale skin matching the dust on the floor;
A diluted gold. Matching the colours
Of crops never to be harvested
In a land slaughtered by drought;
Her children massacred by famine
And foreigners still doing too little, too late.