Street Child


"Object of my desire, what shall it be?
A slice of sweet papaya to share for you and me."

Cecilia
of seven
her face folded within the creases of her dress
as she extended her sunburnt hands
around the green and gold papayas.

Little one aged aged by sun
she held her basket tight.
"Papaya!"
She shouted to the faces in the streets
small sandals swish about her feet
spray soft dust float
about her steps
and meet
know...one...know...one
              to her regret.
"Papaya!"
She searched
within the breadmaker's booth
and watched
with hungry eyes
while walking with her fruit
and shouted in the morning
and rested in the night
street child
street wild
in the corner
by the light.
She whispered softly to herself
desiring to sleep,
"Dulce Virgen de Guadalupe
remember me
my mother's dead

I have but sweet papayas
and no place
to rest my head.
            I see the man who watches me
            from a distance
            Oh! What he said!
            that he would give me money
                        'I give you money'
                        he said to me.
                        'You be mine, all will be fine'

                        No Dignity      No Truth

                        So I ran today, good virgin mine.
                        Papaya...
                        Papaya..." her voice whispered in the night
                        hidden by newspaper
                                              covered by boxes
                                    papaya she dreamed and
                                              slept through the night.

by Lupita C. Saucedo


© 1998 Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope Online

Last update: 14 January 1999

URL: http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/kaleidoscope/volume8/streetchild.html


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