Ann-Marie Spittle


Do not feel that because I do not rush to your aid I do not feel for you
For I have memories of my own
I see your pain and send my last coins to help you
But do they reach you?
I still see your death and anguish fill my screen
But why when we send so much does it continue?
Then I see the truth and am appalled

Others have intervened
The politicians, the war mongers, the I want a pieces
And you are there still hungry
And I grow angry
And I am tired of the words, tired of the excuses
Tired, tired, tired

Then the old darkness descends of the days of my remembrance
Of the memories of those who did not survive
My Uncle helped dig them out with his own hands
The mother’s cried at the death of their children
And men and women at the loss of their spouses
Aberfan’s air was filled with tears and screams as the bodies came out
This was not a war zone
This was not a foreign land, but my own
And we were promised help
And none came
So we helped ourselves until it did come – 30 years later

Then I return to today and think
If one small blade of grass can crack a pavement with determination
Then one small voice can be heard in the darkness
And I pick up my pen and begin to write as we did then
IWVPA Club Recognition of Outstanding Non-War Related Writing: January 25, 2005
Awarded: January 25, 2005
And made the world change

Author’s Note: On the 21 October 1966, 144 people, 116 of them children, were killed when a tip of coal waste slid onto the village of Aberfan in South Wales. The Aberfan Disaster: 21 October 1966