Let me cry

smokey mountain1I can’t get the stench
out of my hair
and my clothes
the rubberish burn
composting bananas
and soup bones
and lettuce
and feces
the man tearing off
labels of 
plastic bottles
to sell
the wet naked babies
cleaned with dirty water
who have never known anything else
the wedged in shacks
made of boards, mesh and plastic
the mamas and papas
smiling at my
smiling at their childrensmokey mountain naked boy
the slow motion cats
too gaunt to play
and the blue sky
in octagons and slivers
corrugated metal 
3000 families
live in this dump
scavenging to survive
another day
no birth proof
no education
no healthcare
reed-thin bodies
and herds of children
Smokey mountain 2running
the pop cans
glass shards
and my junk
Forgive me
for shelter
for Starbucks
for my fat belly
for not knowing
my privilege
Forgive me
for washing machines
and 3 meals a day
Forgive me for 
my unwillingness
to quit buying
and tossing
for praying
for an end to the cold
for not knowing
for not seeing
for thinking the world was 
about “mine”
in the millions of choices I make
Let me cry
don’t comfort me
-not now-
let my broken heart
stay in pieces
it would be
any other way
Smokey mountain 4 boys
*Smokey Mountain II is home to 3000 families on the outskirts of Manila. Most of them are undocumented, uneducated, and are migrants. I am working on connecting to a org there that helps these families. Send me a note if you’d like to know more. 
This entry was posted in Poetry, Reflections and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Let me cry

  1. jaytrock says:

    Dare I say that this is a beautiful poem? It is, because it communicates–their lives to your heart and body to mine. Thank you, Shannon!

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