Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Touch (the sense of touch) (08/05/10)
TITLE: A Warning, A Wish And A Woe
By Mariane Holbrook
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A girl of eight months, so they say.
No blanket or pillow to cuddle up to,
And this goes on day after day.
For she is an orphan with no one to care;
A nurse keeps her barely alive.
The porridge they give her is never enough;
I wonder how long she’ll survive.
The Yugoslav government feels it is best
For orphans to be left alone.
They frown upon friendships between children there;
No signs of affection are shown.
That baby who’s crying has boils everywhere.
Her diaper stays soiled all day.
She rarely is bathed and she wants to be fed;
I wish I could take her away.
The worst of it all are the “No Touching” signs.
On beds and on cribs everywhere.
But babies still cry and they reach out their arms
Hoping someone will show that they care.
By age three or four they have given up hope
And they stare from their beds into space.
When workers approach them to bring them some food,
They know there will be no embrace.
They never are touched and they never are hugged.
They all seem more sullen each day.
They never throw balls or run loose on the lawn;
They don’t know the meaning of “play.”
Some dear saints of God had adopted a girl
Who barely has lived to be three.
She soundlessly boarded the plane for New York;
A challenge she’ll be, they agree.
Too long she had lain in that urine-soaked bed.
Too long she had begged for a touch.
Too long she had cried for a tender embrace.
Was this child really asking too much?
Resisting their efforts to show her their love,
She sits by her window and stares.
She no longer wants to be hugged and caressed;
She knows now that nobody cares.
For thousands and thousands of children like this
The damage is already done.
They begged for so long for the touch of a hand,
Sought for love but they found there was none.
Psychiatrists say that a child without hugs
Is stunted for life as he cries.
Refusing all food, losing interest in life,
He grieves to the point where he dies.
The wildest of animals cuddle their young;
God willed that it always be so.
But innocent babies are shunned and ignored
Til they’re weary and let it all go.
To those who have hurt even one little child,
God’s Word is abundantly clear.
He will punish the guilty for what they have done;
‘Twill be certain and swift and severe.
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