Poem by Sistah Joy
When / Photo Op
When will it become innate instinct
Natural reflex, impulse without variation
To respond when we see others in need?
When does that part of humanity’s DNA
Finally say “I will do this
Because it’s right
Because it’s reprehensible not to?”
When will age, race, region or religion
No longer be deciding factors?
For all the pleas on late night TV,
All the bloated bellies,
Skeletal shoulders and limbs
So graphically portrayed
Those piteous scenes
Of starving children
Who must, at best,
Wait until photographers
Capture their shots
Before they can eat,
The point seems
To have been missed
Or perhaps, it’s more
One of marketing choice
That starving children
Standing, squatting, crying
Make more evocative photos
Than those of starving children
Youtube video of the poem: https://youtu.be/WNiQtolQqgM
Sistah Joy is the inaugural Poet Laureate of Prince George's County, Maryland and has served as President of the Poetry Ministry of the Ebenezer A.M.E. Church Poetry Ministry in Fort Washington, Maryland for 18 years. She is the author of 3 collections of poems, Lord I'm Dancin' As Fast As I Can; This Garden Called Life; and From Pain to Empowerment - The Fabric of My Being. She can be reached at her website, https://www.sistahjoy.com.
The poems that follow are powerful evidence that Poetry Speaks Back to Hunger!