Thursday, 6 October 2016

Opara introduced the readers to the poem by sharing his encounter with a beautiful child suffering from kwashiorkor down a shallow street:
"I saw a beautiful child
Down a shallow street"

The poet continues by telling the readers about the child's swollen belly, bow legs, starved head and smiles which depicted that the child wore a kwashiorkor look. All these portrayed by the poet are signs of malnutrition that leads to kwashiorkor in children:
"With swollen belly, bow legs and starved head
His smiles wore a kwashiorkor look"

The poets feels pity for the child and his/her condition of malnutrition and hunger. The child's voice is fainting every day and his heart no longer wants to move on. He is fighting to stay alive and also fighting the fears in his heart.

The child is malnourished as a result of poverty and drought:
"With fainting voice, he sighed in his heart
He was playing with the dust of despair
Fighting the crawling
shadows of fear,
A poor child starved by malnutrition
The seal of poverty engaged his thought"

In the last 5 lines, the poets tell us that tears stole the joy of the child who is plagued and bounded by death. He is certain that one day death will come. His plea is for someone to hold his hands and encourage, strengthen and give him hope.
"He walked in unclean diapers of tears
Plagued by unclear hymns
Sticker in death's bond
He wore a plea in his heart,
A plea for a heart to hold his heart."

Moses Chibueze Opara aka Mr. Humility
(A temporary Nigerian poet and poetry analyst)


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