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  • Writer's pictureTony Frobisher

The Newspaper Boy

The Newspaper Boy He woke to the sound of a thousand engines And a cacophony of horns, Revving and blaring a few feet From his cardboard bed. A night of haunted dreams And the constant scurrying of the rats. Nothing to drink or eat, And the same grime encrusted Sweat stained, fetid clothing Stuck to his cracked and filthy skin. His sallow face aged in the polluted air, And eyes sunken, dead Youth drained, weary. Nine years old and barely a night under roof And never a night upon comfortable mattress. And never a moment of peace or silence. And never a moment to escape the fear and danger and worry. The streets sending crashing waves Of noise and heat and anger. And abuse and violence and hurt. And shame A bundle of today's newspapers, Gathered under emaciated arms, Perched on a stomach, bloated And poverty fed. The newsprint just blackened lines. The illiterate selling to the fortunate, the literate. Traffic stopped to an impatient wait, The boy walks in urgent steps Stopping at each car window Tapping and staring But not seeing the privileged Cocooned behind darkened, tinted windows An air conditioned haven, away From humidity and the heat. The inescapable heat. As an arm extends through a paltry gap. "Paper!" A one word shout. A face unseen. A note tendered. A paper passed through. And nothing more. Lights change and the exhaust fumes Engulf the boy, at 9 years old, Exhausted already from the harshness of life. The cars leave in a riot Of steel and noise. A blur. Watched silently, By the newspaper boy. But no one watches him. Or ever will. _____________________________ While we take for granted the opportunities our children have, to attend school, to eat regular meals, the safety of a home, a roof over their heads, the comfort & love of family, there are many children who never receive the same. Children living on the streets, homeless, orphaned, abandoned. Fending for themselves at a tender age. And any age is no age to be in such a position. This photograph was taken in Java, Indonesia. Sadly not a rarity around the world 

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