Having an ill-fated birth, born a bustard such that my parents are the people the money of whom I rob; my brothers being mine peers with whom I’m employed, with whom doeth I mine job of grabbing goodies from on the streets or rather whom doth I share a culvert as shelter; with no hope of survival though methinks my unknown parents may somewhere still be living, yet knows I little whether they be living or dead.
I was deserted and rejected, feeling like I’m in the heart of a dense forest though liveth in the midst of the enormous city with people nigh my feet equivalent to forest trees, quite untouched by my presence and useless to mine troubled soul.
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My plight is overwhelming, my melancholy somewhat like a kilo of stone tied to my aorta or a lump of sand in my veins. Laden by inner pain, my spirit fails my conscience and doeth I things that my helpless soul sees never good. When I lay down alone, uninvited tears flow freely down my starved cheeks. And I keep asking why me!
A junkie and a hooligan they call me and in truth I am, made by the heartless society that has nurtured mine character. With a poverted mind, I stroll the streets in search of hope; with a brain of a parrot and a heart of a sheep do I walk. My quandary continues to nurse my learned hopelessness and erase my sense of personhood.
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My hopeless helplessness does govern my culture, for mine soulless world seems to desert mine very existence, and I never stop asking why me.
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The best I can do is to get what put I in mine esophagus, usually helping myself from the rubbish pit, and sometimes scrambling with dogs, for a piece of meat dumped by the rich mother of children. And the ort is spore-attacked most a time; while knows I how vulnerable I am, also knoweth I that time I haven’t to fall sick, for neither a nurse nor a tablet is for me a possibility.
A concordat did I make with sickness never to put me down when it came for whom would I have for a nurse? This pain that has no soother but myself! What a miserable life a street child I lead! Hunger, thoughts and melancholy being but the inevitable features of mine already wretched life.
But why me?
How sad to be mine father and brother, my mother being the innocent woman from whom I grab the golden necklace to make ends meet. While knows I that doth I act wrongly, nature does impose a necessity upon mine belly to scavenge for what put I in the oesophagus.
And I keep asking; Did in commit some wrong while in my mother’s womb? Did I choose to be born into this loveless world where suffering is daily bread? No word can describe the anguish that I a street child suffer and nobody can understand my plight but my peers with whom I share this agonizing life.
Nursed by penury, my scaly skin does rend fearsomeness on my face, and everybody doth look at me as a ne’er-do-well and I feel worthless so that every other day, hope peters out of my depressed soul. The type of food I eat is the elastic leftover meal containing spores. Though it does kill my hunger, my soul it also kills slowly. If by eating from on the dump is to attempt suicide, an act it is that I will do tomorrow and the day thereafter.
All the one and half decades I have lived, I have not slept under a roof like normal children do.
The house that I do own is but a culvert carrying smelling water, and for this I struggle with my aggressive peers. I know not a bed in mine vocabulary, and a blanket is a taboo to my cold body. In the dead of the night do I stand, by fearsome nightmares awakened.
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Onto the streets I was born and there have I raised myself, loaming the streets in pursuit of nought and getting naught, but daily harassed by the law which to my plight doeth not pay attention; to my rights does it look with closed eyes, making me ask shy me.
The word future doth sound like hell in mine ears for sorrow do I hear in it. My soul continues to long for a dream life but all in vain. So miserable is my life, dying of a sickening nostalgia with no promise of hope.
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Humbled down by my plight and want of food, I resign my life to fate, playing the scavenger while praying that some day may come with my salvation. In desperate earnest for the meaning of mine lifeless soul, I weep through the cold nights and never cease to ask why me.
It’s too faltering a lie that I, like the happy children I see in cars cruising the streets, have parents, and was by the same art brought into this fiery world that I loath. Overcome by the disquieting thoughts that occupy my frightening nights, twice have I by my hand wanted to see my lord, to bid farewell to this hopeless world that I love to hate, to remove my soulful soul from this soulless world.
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By Ssebunya Joseph