Peter Clarke (1929 - )
Big Sister/Little Mother (Aids Orphans)

mixed media
50 x 35cm

It is early in the day, but already you assume responsibility. You start
by getting water & preparing porridge for your tiny siblings. Later there will
be other chores & concerns.

Nobody gave you this particular role. Just suddenly it was yours because,
quite simply, there was nobody else to bring some sense of order & survival to
this family in this period of blight.

In the dark time of AIDS first your father was called away, then your mother
into that other land of eternal shadow. Ignorance makes it so that nobody knows
this enemy, who will go next, who will survive the scourge.

You, in actual fact still a child, big sister / little mother, a small admirable human
being, do the simple things someone has to do in order for others to survive. You are
one of hundreds of thousands involved in trying to go on living in this time of dying.
Yet nobody knows your name.

2005 Michael Stevenson. All rights reserved.