Whilst in Ethiopia with a group from World Vision partner churches in the UK we encountered people, young and old, in a variety of contexts.  The following poem arose when an old lady, who no longer had any fingers through accident or disease, asked for money whilst the team were inside the mini bus waiting at some traffic lights.

Smile (part 1)

you smile at me
and from behind 'safe' glass
I self-consciously reel,
smile back
and feel

you search my soul
with eye piercing zeal;
hold out unloved hands
for something… real.

and mirror
my mixed motives
certainty: un-sealed.
and present
god’s parable.
life’s icon: revealed.