Tuesday, January 25, 2011

nobody's children

found, in the bus stand
blood staining a dirty frock
bites on her belly
from human teeth
voice lost from screaming
a child of the street, nobody's child
rescued, brought to the home
HIV positive
she stayed away from other children
lest they 'catch the fever'

found, in the vegetable market
where her father 'got off' on her grubby hands
so did her uncle and many other men
rescued, brought to the home
jumped off the third floor and fled into the dark
craved the thrust of human flesh
then returned for the certitude of
three meals a day
and she stood in the terrace and dreamed of love

found, twins with brown hair, grey eyes
and cheekbones you could slice chillies on
one playing outside
and the other inside screaming
as she watched her father set her mother on fire
rescued, brought to the home
one smiles a lot and loves to dance
the other frowns and screams in the night.

© 2011 Padmavani Karkera
This was a challenge posted by Jenne R Andrews on She Writes. The prompt is 'poem to a child'. This poem is to these four children I knew during my six month voluntary service at a 'home' for street children. I am sure this could do with a lot of improvement. I will come back to it in time.


  1. Your poetry is not just poetry. It is EXCELLENT poetry, poetry at its best that evokes emotion as strongly as a song. You are extremely talented Padmavani!

  2. You are so generous with your kind words Elizabeth. And I love it :)

    Thank you for your encouragement.

  3. Beautiful, moving and intense. Thanks for taking the challenge! xxxj

  4. Powerful, moving, heart wrenching and it has a song like quality that is very readable even if the words are hard to 'hear'.

  5. Thank you Jenne and Mystic_Mom for dropping by and letting me know.



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