Wednesday, 06 December 2023 10:30


Written by
in Poetry


by Steve Pottinger, with image above by Alix Emery

To the apologists for genocide who choose
to walk in no-one’s shoes but their own

Imagine all this happening
to your children. And to your
neighbour’s children. And to
the children who play football
up and down your street, in the
dust and the heat and the rain,
whose joy and whose laughter
has been a gift all your days.

Imagine all this happening
to the mother of your children.
To the mother of your neighbour’s
children. To the mother of the
quiet boy three doors down
who dreams of becoming
a journalist, or businessman.
To a whole street of mothers.

Imagine all this happening
to the mechanic in the next block
with the missing tooth, a ready smile,
who can make any motor purr.
To the musician whose name
you never learn. To the couple
whose shop opens late into evening,
who sell the best mangoes.

Imagine your home, gone.
The dress shop where
your sister worked, flattened.
The hospital that looked after
your father, nothing but rubble.
Imagine all these futures,
all these possibilities

Imagine being told
by those of us who believe
our children will always be safe
will always be blessed
will always be healthy,
imagine being told
that this is complicated,
that you have brought this on yourself,
that we are content you shall feast
on concrete, on grief, and on death.

Imagine us telling you
that when you cradle the
broken body of your child
you are showing us a doll.
She was only ever a doll.

Imagine that.

Slip on those bloodied shoes.

Read 499 times Last modified on Wednesday, 06 December 2023 10:33
Steve Pottinger

Steve Pottinger is a performance poet who's passionate about the power of poetry to create connections between people. He believes in making an audience laugh and think and decide that poetry isn't so bad after all.