By ENSPIRE Contributor: Latoya Wakefield
Their faces washed of all laughter and purity
They have forgotten how to be clean but are comforted by being dirty
Innocence they knew once now they’re burdened with premature maturity
They positioned at stop lights signaled by it’s colored trajectory
Overlooked as they clean windshield for shameful pennies
Imprints to honor the dead
Nobody cares for them
Homeless…perilous times ahead.
Nobody’s Children…Part 1
Clad in a marina stained by dirt and blood and shorts that have long lost its life, he walks fiercely towards us. It’s barely lit and we know these streets good enough to wind the windows up as he approaches.
“Miss miss, mi just a beg yuh something to eat, ” he leans on my closed window and says. My heart sways. I put my hand on the button to pull the window down.
“No,” my friend grabs my shoulder, ” these children are very conniving, born criminals. You can not feel sorry for him. ”
My hand drops into my lap. The boy still peers through the window and I examine what I could see of him.
He looks as old as my brother in his first year of high school. I want to believe so badly that he is just a kid like my brother. That the innocence I see in his eyes is not made up to lure and trap; that his hands which are smaller than mine couldn’t pierce a knife through me if he sees it necessary; that he genuinely wants something to eat, a warm bed to lie on and a responsible adult to care for him.
‘Born criminals, ‘ she said. Was anyone really born that way? Albert Einstein once said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” What experiences has a child like this had for him to live his life this way?
Reasons race through my mind – lack of parents, lack of good parenting, poverty, no schooling, no love, nobody at all to guide him. Nobody….even the greatest woman needs somebody in her corner. Having nobody turns you into a nobody.
He no longer speaks, just looks through the glass at us, darkly and deeply almost compelling me to give him something, even if it is a small change. I’m not sure if it is fear or pity gnawing at my heart. My eyes move to his marina. Is that blood his own? The car in front of us finally moves up. The boy pushes himself off our car. We drive up further in the queue of KFC’s drive-thru.
In the rear mirror, I see him staring at the back of our car as it moves further away as if he’s now a statute and I, instead of feeling relief that nothing happened, start an internal quest that only finds sorrow by the time we get our food and race out of the drive-thru.
To Be Continued…