Her Name Means Hope

in Middle East by

My daughter is also seven years old.
Their hair looks the same length.
Their fingers, too. There was a hospital
nearby. There is food
in my garbage can. We fed the leftovers
to the dog. We sold the guns
to the Saudis. We refueled their planes
in the air. I imagine the planes coming together,
a delicate orchestration, delicate
as the bouquet of ribs I trace
at night as I rub my daughter’s back,
after dinner and a bath.
She’ll eat almost anything,
my girl, Brussels sprouts or kale,
but she doesn’t like pizza,
isn’t it funny. They’d made it
to the camp. She had six siblings.
They discharged her
last week. Too many
new patients. We had chicken
for dinner, put the carcass
in the trash. Fed the leftovers
to the dog. The hands
are already mostly bone, so they don’t
change much. They look the same.
Her hands. And my daughter’s.
Sources say it was raining.
When she died.



Yemen crisis: 85,000 children ‘dead from malnutrition’ [BBC]
Starving girl who became symbol of Yemen’s crisis dies [CNN]
US to halt midair refuels for Saudi coalition in Yemen amid peace push [ABC]

Caitlin Gildrien is a writer, graphic designer, and erstwhile farmer living at the feet of the Green Mountains of Vermont. Her poetry has recently appeared in Alligator Juniper and Trumped, the first volume of the Poets Speak anthology series, as well as during the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project for August 2017.

Image by Anna Vilardi.