The Starving Kid of Africa

Get out of your head, she said, and think of
the starving kids of Africa.
Don’t be sad.
Your life isn’t that bad.
Think how hard they have it.

So I did.

I thought of a poor starving kid of Africa
who will never have to know
that he is only one of millions who die
from sickness cured long ago.

I thought of him going hungry, unaware that you can buy a cheeseburger with flakes of gold and that anyone can become rich with a small loan of one millions dollars from their father.

Then she said when
was the last time you passed on
your wealth,
did something to help,
that starving kid of Africa?

I looked down at my brown bowl of noodles and thought of sending them to him. But I knew
(if they got there at all)
He would only see the MSG flavouring on the top, and the adult now stronger to beat him.

I thought of the starving kid in Africa and hoped he would forgive
My hopelessness,
My helplessness,
and the mystery of the chemistry that made me cry,
and the ignorance that made her ask why
“Well, have you tried yoga?”