Landfill Child

*

The vultures hover above their tiny heads.

The wind here has never stood still, the putrid smell of decay fills the air.

Their dirty hands, the sewer nearby and the food crumbs tell an endless tale of survival.

There is no healing except from the spit of the child-bearer.

A life’s worth of lessons learnt, but there is no classroom in sight.

The friends are also here hunting for any pieces of metal or glass that they might stumble upon.

In the moonlight, the yellow teeth smile where a good catch for the day is an old ring on the finger.

*

I pick up the pieces of the broken glass picture frame with my hands, vary of every piece left behind on the floor. Tears run down my cheeks and there is only one thought in my head. One by one I collect them nervously, this is my one year old’s favorite place to play in the entire house. Right behind the TV stand, next to the dusty fireplace, this is his corner. But, again, there is only one thought in my head. I stand staring at the garbage can still holding the plastic bag full of the glass shreds, labeled carefully, and wrapped tightly, praying no child will ever hurt his hand picking through my debris. I write the above for all those children who make a living scouring through our trash and waste and who live each day at the end of this world.

With endless love and compassion that they don’t go to bed hungry tonight.

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