by Shenita Etwaroo


She huddles against the grit of a brick wall,

In the grime of the alleyway,

Unable to keep warm,

The knife of hunger in her belly,

Too tired to look for food.

A stranger walks by, frowns at her,

His lip curled,

And her instinct is to run

Before she is struck again,

Simply for living on the streets.

Every now and then, someone kind

Will give her a scrap of food,

Even say something in a warm tone

That makes her feel less like

Garbage scattered across the alley

That she calls home.


She often wonders if her situation

Would be considered any more tragic

If she were a human being starving in the cold.

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