Rice is coming

in famished light

of a lamp that runs on air,

under the weathering roof

of a straw hut

the tales I tell my kids,

of castles with

overflowing food and wealth;

the lullabies I invent everyday

of mattress thick as river;

imaginary money I count

from the barren, torn pockets

as their hands circle over

swollen stomachs

stuffed with waiting,

asking, “mama, how long?”

I boil water for infinity

and tell them –

rice is coming.

Hungry once again,

they fall asleep,

dreaming and enjoying

the rice that never gets done.

Water dries up,

pan goes cold

but I find fresh lies

to shroud my helplessness

and make them believe

that rice is coming.

One day.

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