Bougainville women ask ‘where is our vote?’
Bougainville: Was the regional election fair?


Old woman (Greenpeace Media)WARDLEY BARRY

Her head hung low, her eyes sunk back, too tired
to greet her own son. His dad had retired

After hours of dragging coffee bags
across potholes of promises. Three bags

Were lost to the weather, two to thieves and
several others just fell through his hand.

She noticed. That night she knelt and prayed for
the simple things: good roads, lights on her door,

Books for her child, and salt for her kumu
—perhaps, a spade to dig pits for mumu.

She boiled noodles for her wide-eyed son, and
roasted sweet potatoes for her husband.

They get to eat meat during elections
with a pot belly of politicians.

enda'ando – an old woman

kumu – greens
mumu – earth oven


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Philip Fitzpatrick

Layers of meaning in a few well-wrought words.

In poetic terms that's a pretty pure effort Ward.

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