Walking down a dusty road

Five more miles to home

Thinking 'bout what teacher said

I hear my brother groan

He hasn't been feeling very well

My mommy is worried he's sick

Mommy's sick too

She doesn't pick me up like she used to

She isn't very strong

I hear my brother cough

Four more miles to home

My tummy growls

I wonder if there will be food today

I am very tired

I wish I could just sit down for a little while

We keep walking

Three more miles to home

My brother doesn't look very good

Mommy doesn't talk much anymore

When we are home

Yesterday my mommy didn't move from her bed

My big sister made our dinner

There was no meat yesterday, I wonder if there will be today

My brother just tripped

He'll be okay, right?

Why do I see Daddy's face when I see my brother?

My daddy died three years ago

Two miles to home

My teacher talked about AIDS today

She said that many people in my village have AIDS

I wonder if that is what my big brother and my mommy have

Someone said my daddy died of AIDS

I don't like AIDS, I don't like talking about it

We have stopped to rest

We've walked six miles and have one more to go

My brother isn't doing very good

He keeps coughing and he isn't breathing very well

My big sister looks worried

I wish we could run and play

I have a new dolly we made from the maize sack

I brought her to school today

We have started walking again

We are almost home now,

Who are those people I see around my home?

I'm running now, I want to tell mommy about school

A grown up just stopped me

I want to see my mommy but they won't let me

I don't understand, they say she isn't here

Where could she have gone, she didn't move yesterday

And now she has walked away?

My big sister is crying, my brother is crying too

What is going on?

My sister is talking to one of the grown ups

Uh-oh, I don't like that look

Oh no! I don't like those words!

Someone said AIDS, someone said dead

My sister is hugging me and my brother

She says mommy won't be coming home

She says she will take care of me now

But she is only eleven!

My name is Mercy, I'm five years old

And they tell me my mommy died today