Friday, 24 June 2011


Give me the TV remote
so I can flick from your sunken face,
so your eyes don’t accuse me
as you squat in the dirt

and wait for me to do something.

Let me burn your food
so I can drive my car.
Let me splash water over my lawn
as your lips crack and bleed

and still I do nothing.

And if hunger is an act of war,
let me raise my white flag high.
Let me be tarred and feathered
in the leftovers from my chicken dinner

and as I finally rise from apathy

let them parade me
through the streets,
and let my only worry be
the size of my naked belly.

© Deirdre Cartmill

Food: A hungry world
Deirdre Cartmill’s first collection Midnight Solo is published by Lagan Press and her second collection will be published later this year. She is based in Belfast.
Editor's note: Oxfam predicts a billion people will go undernourished, this year.