Peace by Lloyd Anafi

21st November 1997 at 00:00
This week's poem comes from Malawi, sent by Caro Bastable who has remained a faithful reader of The TES during her two years VSO. Lloyd Anafi has chosen to write about a terrible, and, for him, a very real and local problem - that of Aids orphans in Malawi's villages. His poem is the more powerful for being controlled. He personifies Aids as a terrible visitor, and makes us understand the priorities of the orphaned child through the series of contrasts in the third stanza. The poem gives us a glimpse of a different landscape, where "peace is scattered like trees in the desert".


I had peace

before your arrival,

You brought sorrow

into my heart,

Peace was scattered

like trees in the desert.

Since your arrival

I have no support,

- no love,

- no comfort,

Unpleasant and bitter

Unwelcome visitor,

My neighbours' remains

are now my food,

Their waste my wages,

Going to school

is now just a dream

Escorting their children

my homework,

Hard work and aching

body my only lessons,

My heart floods with anger,

No place for peace

in my heart,

so full of resentment,

I detest you Aids

for stealing my parents!


Lloyd Anafi, aged 18, receives Slattern by Kate Clanchy (Chatto Windus). Submitted by Ms Caro Bastable of Mangochi Secondary School, Malawi, who receives a set of Poetry Society posters with teacher's notes. For Poetry Society events, ring 0171 240 2133.

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