by Walter William Safar
The crow flaps its dark wings up there,
and the dark opened its mouth down there,
hungry for poverty.
Both are permanent visitors on 134th street,
the street of my childhood,
where I returned to after fifty years of straying.
Nothing has changed,
apart from the poverty
which became bigger and darker.
The orphanage is still in the same place
where I used to daydream of the outside world
for hours, days and months on an end I used to stand by the window,
shyly stealing smiles from other kids
who cheerfully jumped around their parents,
dreaming that someday I might hold a child by their hand,
and walk far away from the orphanage.
But that world,
the world I used to watch with so much desire
through the little hole of poverty,
became even colder, lonelier and darker than the orphanage to me.
Yes, Lord, I admit to this standing next to the old orphanage's window,
from my dear and sad sight of the world,
that I am coming home poorer and lonelier,
much sadder and poorer
than I was back in my childhood,
because back then I was rich with youth and hope,
and now I am so hopelessly old and lonely.
I am looking at my old orphanage,
and Patrick's reverberant voice crosses my mind,
Patrick who is long since reading his dear little poems
to angels in white heavenly fields.
When I used to stray the dark streets of the world,
the memory of his precious and clear eyes
was my lighthouse,
and now I am left without youth and friends,
hopelessly old and lonely,
in the company of crows, darkness and poverty.
While I am standing at my little sight of the world,
the wind is carrying around the cigarette ember
along the street of my childhood,
leaving behind a fiery trail for my poverty,
and the old orphanage window,
my small sight of the world,
is creaking like the bones of an old homeless man,
as if it arrived at its end too.
I wonder how many views that old window had provided,
and how many gazes and scorn it withstood?
My old window into the world squeaked again,
and now I know that it is time for me to venture into the dark,
to return into the world,
because my old window
is providing a new hope and new view of the world
to a new resident of the orphanage now.
Last updated July 06, 2015