#Carrotranch Flash Fiction Challenge – Healing

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This week, Charli Mills over at the Carrot ranch has given us the concept of healing America for her Flash Fiction Challenge. You can read her lovely post and join in the fun here: https://carrotranch.com/2017/08/18/august-17-flash-fiction-challenge-2/#respond. I gave this some thought and, as I have never even been to America, I decided that I couldn’t solve the problems of America, or the larger world for that matter. I can, however, share my thoughts on healing as they relate to poverty and hunger which is something I see almost daily and which is becoming a bigger problem and of greater concern every day.

The paragraph that follows and also the poem, were inspired by a little boy that I used to see every day on my way to work. He would be strapped with a blanket to his Mother’s back in the traditional South African manner. I used to give his Mother a tin of food a couple of times a week and I would often buy a biscuit or sweetie for the child. One day they disappeared and I have never seen them again.

Breaching the gap

The children in the car were laughing as they guzzled chicken pops and drank large Cokes.

It was the last day of school and the children were gleefully looking forward to the holiday.

From his position on his mother’s back, a pair of luminous, dark eyes watched through the window. There would be no holiday for him as his Mother continued her daily toil to put food in their bellies.

The children were oblivious of his stare. All except for one boy.

He opened his window and handed his food and drink to the toddler.

Both smiled with pleasure.

This same child inspired the following poem which I shared earlier this year. It is one of my favourites and fits so well with this post that I thought I would share it again.

The beggar’s child – a poem

At the traffic light she stands;

On her back, a small boy;

His eyes round; deep black;

In a wizen face, bereft of joy.

***

What thoughts cross his mind?

As he observes in his childish way;

The endless traffic that passes by;

Throughout each and every long day.

***

Their well-fed occupants flash by;

Their faces just at his line of sight;

What feelings in him are aroused?

As they ignore his desperate plight.

***

Does it make him feel invisible?

Unwelcome in this troublesome life;

Does it develop into feelings of despair?

As their complacency cuts like a knife.

***

The cards he has been dealt, provide;

few opportunities to improve and learn;

How frustrating to watch the world pass by;

Knowing it will never be your turn.

***

If we want to see real change and difference;

We must start to recognise and right;

The casualties of poverty and indifference;

Even if our individual contribution is slight.

by Robbie Cheadle

Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town

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45 thoughts on “#Carrotranch Flash Fiction Challenge – Healing

  1. Great post, Robbie. It’s important to start with yourself and what surrounds you. It’s only there that you can make a difference. Thank you for sharing your flash and poem, both poignant. They touch my heart. Your flash gives hope though, hope in the young ones who see a need and do what they can to fill it, selflessly, seemingly without thought. There’s too much suffering in the world. We need to relieve what we can. You remind us beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Poverty is definitely relative though, Tandy. There are some buskers in England that we have come across but their plight is nothing like some of our people. Of course, England has a government that ensures that the economy is as good as it can be, unlike ours which seems determined to destroy it completely.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It takes one person to notice and share. I like that it is another child who offers the gift. Your poem is powerful, and thought-provoking. What, indeed, did such a boy wonder from his mother’s back. Sad that you will never know their plight. I met many homeless travelers over the past year and I call them the invisible. I want to know their stories, to connect, to help bridge that gap. Thank you for your compassionate contribution.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Charli, for your comment and your deep understanding of this poem. I also feel that the homeless are invisible to many people but not to me. I feel their pain and sad plight in waves and it breaks my heart. I have six beggars I give food to regularly and two pensions who I help.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I believe if each of us lived with eyes open and hearts ready, we can use our hands to help those around us. If we each did that in our own small sphere of living, the world would be better, inded. Thank you for what you do!

        Liked by 1 person

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