If the character had told the hungry children
they must earn their keep by begging in the streets,
if she had sold them surreptitiously
to the recruiter who wanted to know if they
were virgins; if the trail of bread or pebbles
shining in the moonlight was replaced
by coils of concertina wire, and the house
of sugar dreams boiled down into a soup
of rubber sap and insect wings— There’d be
no chance to buy time with a chicken bone
held up between the slats of a cage. Only the fire
would be a constant, a raging eager to be fed.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.