Anderson Daniel, all of seven,
Of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, sits on his haunches,
And manages to have a wink of sleep, under a heavy table,
On the hot street in Tapachula, Mexico,
When he is caught on the camera by the lens man Robinson Chavez
Of the Los Angeles Times;
Daniel is part of a post-modern tribe of canguritos,
A wandering army of little kangaroos, with plastic trays
Attached to their shrunk bellies and offering goods like candies and cigarettes
For the users on those cruel streets, mobile vending machines;
The officers extort money and ask favour from the children who
From one living hell to another one, riding freight trains or by
Treacherous rivers or walking in jungles, with dreams in their eyes
Of a better, normal, civilized world, not run by tattooed thugs and gangs
Arranging transport of the hungry from despotic countries into
Another place, a mere El Dorado for the disenfranchised.
Be it any war-zone, conflict-area, or any other city;
Children poor and impoverished, suffer the most.
Wounded, scarred for life, they roam the streets, unprotected, and
In a cruel and violent adult world where no ethics survives the greed for money;
When will this universal torture and abuse of hapless kids stop?
And missing morality and some sanity restored to the ruthless
Tell me, mate, are we really civilized?
(Inspired by Tracy Wilkinson’s report on the migrant children in the Central America, LA Times, Saturday, August 2, 2014)
Visit Sunil at http://www.drsunilsharma.in/.