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Margie Orford

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

If a President were in My Book

…this is how I would write him:

First, I would untint the windows of your fast black car so that you could see again what was on the other side of the glass. Second, I would stop you before your cavalcade hit that little boy playing on the grass.

Third, I would open your window so that the woman running to snatch her youngest out of your path could tell you how the guns you bought have hollowed her belly and stunted her children.

Fourth, I would drive you without your minders to a razor-wired building. It is a hospital, although there are no doctors and few medicines. I would take you inside and you would wash the girl dying on a bare mattress, infected with HIV by a man much older, more powerful than she ever was. I would curl her thin hand in yours, a question mark on your palm.

Fifth, I would walk you through a crowded school. I would make your ears hurt with the cacophony of untaught, bookless children.
Sixth, I would return you to your car, eyes and ears hurting, the soles of your feet bleeding because I would have made you give your bespoke shoes to a man walking barefoot to look for work.

Seventh, I would deliver you to a banquet and seat you at the head of the table. At your window, I would show you the thin faces of the unfed. I would clench your gut so that, despite your hunger, you would be unable to eat. I would swell your tongue, so that despite your thirst you would not be able to drink.


Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    June 22nd, 2009 @14:00 #

    Thank you thank you thank you, Margie. I read this yesterday, and have been meaning to ask you to post it. The best thing I read the entire weekend.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Margie</a>
    June 22nd, 2009 @14:32 #

    I dont envy people who land up in my books, especially if they don't behave and Doctor Hart gets onto them....


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