Orphan

Palestine Arab Refugees in Lebanon

There are stray dog pounds more
Hygienic than orphanages – Fact not fiction.
There are orphans beaten by brute force
And thrown objects at, much more than puppies are.
There are puppy faces that with time
Become Poker faces. You can count more dog lovers
Than to-be foster parents. You become lost in the
Labyrinths and red tape for so long,
You know so many squint-eyed wardens
With canes and pot stoned faces, whose
Pet pastime is throwing a punch or painting
The perimeter of the eye, with black fist-marks.
You know so many rundown buildings
With rust-coated metal beds, one anorexic pillow,
And a little glass of water by the bedside.
You shout, you fight, you run into tantrums
You scream with your deflated lungs
Each time the warden drags you by the arm
And punishes you for asking for another helping
Of the watered lentil soup. And all you can think of is
How beautiful it would be to be a dog
To wear a leather collar, marked with a fancy name
Like “Snoopy” or “Lassie”,
Sleeping on a little cushion by the bed
And be loved for who you are,
And not a fleshed crash test dummy
Wandering in streams of apathy
Almost like a plank of driftwood
Afloat in the “system”.

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Author: meandererworld (Dilantha Gunawardana)

Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, American Journal of Poetry, Kitaab, Eastlit and Ravens Perch. He mixes science with poetry for a living, when what matters is the expression of both DNA and words into something serendipitous. Although an Australian citizen, Dilantha is domiciled in Sri Lanka, his country of birth.

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