Water, as most of you will know,
has the chemical formula H2O.
Now this essential liquid is, as well,
in its natural form, devoid of smell,
and also in its pure state,
it's clear and clean and really great,
for keeping living things alive,
as without it nothing can survive.
Yes it really is such magic stuff,
because without it things are really tough,
and it often makes me stop and think.
each time I pour myself a drink.
What would I do if it all dried up?
Turn on the tap, but an empty cup!
Nothing from the pipes emanating,
panic, as I'm not used to waiting.
This is not how it is for me,
I live where rain falls frequently,
and I can drink, shower and bathe too,
as often as I'm wanting to.
But in other parts it rains only rarely,
and people there, well they can barely,
find enough water for their needs,
to drink, to wash, to nurture seeds.
For them life is infinitely harder,
they've learned to live with an empty larder,
and simple hygiene is so hard to achieve,
when the detritus of living, they have to leave,
lying, rotting, stinking on the surface all around,
polluting any water source in the ground.
Because of the extreme poverty of these 'others',
on my TV screen I have seen the faces of the mothers,
whose children died because there has never been
access to water which is drinkable and clean.
Yes, something that we take for granted,
because we were born, where we were planted!
Tom Higgins's Other Poems
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