The Great Hunger
49 sec 
Issue Five & Poetry

The Great Hunger

By Fiona Perry

My kind owes a debt to the people of the Choctaw Nation
Torn from the bones their progenitors left as a sacred
Deposit on land as revered as womb. They know
What it is to be a tribe shaped by tears.

To the unbroken, newly freed men and women of the Caribbean.
To the pogrom-sorrowed Jews of Congregation Shearith Israel.
To the unproselytizing Quaker. To the principled sepoy of Calcutta.
To the redeemed and redeemable of Sing Sing and the prison

Ship Warrior. We, the Irish, honour you in increments by burying
Ebola victims with dignity, blanketing Syrian refugees in
Camp and succouring the famished of East Africa. Some
Leave a corner of their field for the poor and the stranger

If they are able; the Sultan of Turkey and Baron Rothschild.
The rest of us, we will feed our kindred with a widow’s mite.
Certain of the crystal growth of it. The fractals meshing on and on and on.

Artwork by Kathryn Lamont.