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Friday, October 22, 2021


by Phyllis Wax

Despite mass starvation occurring in Ethiopia's northern region of Tigray, senior international aid officials are tiptoeing around declaring a famine nearly a year after the civil war erupted. Photo: This is one of the malnourished children being treated at Ayder Hospital this week —BBC, October 16, 2021

We’ve seen them before,                             
living skeletons,
bones like knobby sticks,
carrying children too weak
to brush flies
from their faces,
so hungry
they’ve been eating
A hooded figure
strides among them,
his sharp scythe ready.
Trucks with life-
saving food and medicine
have been blocked.
Our feet seem stuck            
in concrete. 

Social issues are a major focus of Milwaukee poet Phyllis Wax. Her work has appeared on The New Verse News in the past, as well as in numerous other journals and anthologies, both online and in print.