Your Daily Poem: Elana Bell

Ed. note: For National Poetry Month, we’re highlighting one feminist poem each day in April. See the whole series here.

Today’s poem is “Your Village” by Elana Bell.

Your Village

Once in a village that is burning
because a village is always somewhere burning

And if you do not look because it is not your village
it is still your village

In that village is a hollow child
You drown when he looks at you with his black, black eyes

And if you do not cry because he is not your child
he is still your child

All the animals that could run away have run away
The trapped ones make an orchestra of their hunger

The houses are ruin Nothing grows in the garden
The grandfather’s grave is there A small stone

under the shade of a charred oak Who will brush off the dead
leaves Who will call his name for morning prayer

Where will they—the ones who slept in this house and ate from this dirt—?

This poem originally appeared in The Massachusetts Review and also appears in the collection Eyes, Stone by Elana Bell. Audio clip via PBS News Hour.

sm-bio Syreeta McFadden is a co-curator of Poets In Unexpected Places.

SYREETA MCFADDEN is a Brooklyn based writer, photographer and adjunct professor of English. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, Religion Dispatches and Storyscape Journal. She is the managing editor of the online literary magazine, Union Station, and a co-curator of Poets in Unexpected Places. You can follow her on Twitter @reetamac.

Syreeta McFadden is a contributing opinion writer for The Guardian US and an editor of Union Station Magazine.

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