A Biographical Blog

The Baja Boy is Dying

This poem was written by the ambulance driver David Ellaway and was read out by Eamon Andrews on ‘This is Your Life’.

The Baja Boy  is dying, that’s what they said to me,
And they took me by the hand and led me there to see.
To where he sat on seat of mat, still and very cold ,
At just one, year the wizened face of a man so very old.

Silent, rounded, swollen eyes staring way past me,
Flies crusted round his nose and hands.
He did not move, he could not move just stared across the sands,
With milk, with food, with tender care, him surely we can  save .

It seemed after all, only fair, that a tiny boy so brave.
So we resolved at least to try to save this little one
But when we came back just four hours past

The baja boy had gone

David Ellaway, 1985 (d. 2005)

Ambulance driver with the Emergency British Red Cross Team in Ethiopia, with Sister Elizabeth Caswell (1974)