by Pernille Aegidius Dake  

Our friend who art in the Third World,
We know not thy name, yet feel your pain.
Your time will come if you put your mind to it.
The world is everyone’s oyster and bread cheap where you are.
Alas, we snack too much starch; everyone has their daily indulgences.
We must keep spending, stave off recession, diminish national debt, improve credit ratings, stabilize rising consumer indexes.
Foreign aid over one percent of BNP keeps the wheels turning.
Blessed be free market economics as you receive our genetically altered corn; our discounted, surplus butter; our past-date medicine; our overstock of extra-smalls and size 00s, even our secondhand clothing, which is trending these days.
Many of us would give our right arms to wear preowned Stella McCartney. Her father married an amputee and landmine protester who was a former model.
And our NGOs create jobs:
Mining, growing orchids or cocoa, weaving baskets, sorting our trash and salvaging our plastic, because cursed are we with Salmonella. We must tamper-proof and seal single- or family-packs of pitted prunes, Prozac, cigarettes, all-natural chicken, fireworks, organic frozen dinners.
We also buy your necklaces made from undelivered catalogs and brooches from mobile phone fragments. Just, please, remove the radioactive parts. Do ship us your organic, handwoven cotton and hand-cranked extracted sunflower-seed oil.
How well you preserve your environmental footprints.
We vouch to buy your carbon credits.
Imagine all you can do with that money. Strengthen infrastructures, build highways and high-rises, install electricity and plumbing.
You can have light and perhaps even running water.
But mind you use it all sparingly,
And do recycle batteries.

About the Author:

Pernille Ægidius Dake: I winter bathe in the Baltic and knit afghans without dropping stitches. Danish by birth, I live in Copenhagen, Denmark and Saratoga Springs, New York. I am enrolled in VCFA’s low-residency MFA in Writing and am a finalist in Glimmer Train Press’ 2014 New Writer Award as well as in december’s 2015 Curt Johnson Prose Awards. I am published in Skirt!, Carolina Arts, Meat for Tea: The Valley Review, Glassworks Magazine and elsewhere.