a poem by Maryse Saldanha

There I was unwanted and abandoned
In the garbage heap I was found
Where lies my fault?
I didn’t choose to come into the world
Then why was I forsaken
And left to die in the filth?

They say hoarse I kept wailing
Thus by passers-by I was found
I was hospitalised by the authorities
Who was I? They couldn’t find out
So I was sent to an orphanage
A shelter for young homeless
To be cared for by kind or indifferent strangers
My plight as homeless had begun

I was put up for adoption
But there weren’t any takers
Perhaps I was meant to be alone
Each day I hoped someone would come
For me, to take as their own
But days went by as did the years
None came and I gave up hope

I was sent to the local school
I just about managed to pass out
Then it was time for me to go my way
I took up small jobs
As an office help or such others
I worked hard all day to earn a living
Saved enough and bought me a dwelling

It was small but it was mine
A humble roof over my head
A home I could call my own
Time went by I brought home a wife
Together we began our family
They were mine

I worked hard to give them my best
To give them all that I had lacked
My only son, he would be my stronghold
He would all others outshine
He was a bright boy and worked just as hard
He would make us proud
He was the apple of our eye

But destiny had something else in store
And soon dealt us a blow
My young boy fell ill, there was cancer in his bones
He soon to this illness succumbed
The loss of our only son gave us great grief
My misfortune didn’t end there
There was more to come

The loss of her son was too much to bear
My wife too fell ill and left me for her son
With the debt incurred I even lost my house
How could life be so cruel
And take from me all that I had
I am back on the streets where my life had begun

What evil had I done to deserve such fate?
What wrong have I ever done?
I wander without hope, homeless again
Will life end just as it had begun?
A garbage heap, unwanted at the end of the day
No one to call my own, I belong to none