Where Are The Children?

Where are the children?

They are not in bed snuggled between a thick duvet and a soft pillow

keeping their feet warm

as sunlight slowly creeps in through the curtain

swallowing darkness and monsters under their bed.


They have woken up beating the sun to the day

with only thinning soles of old rubber slippers

to protect their feet against the cold  asphalt.


The heat of newly baked bread they adeptly balance

on top of their heads is enough

to keep their heads warm

and their minds alert to shout out “pandesal!”

while their empty stomach grumbles more and more

as the morning air carries with it the smell of breakfast.


They are out in the streets beating the mad rush of traffic

selling today’s news which will no longer be  news

by midday

when they burn their skin

to try their luck instead

with mint and gum and blowing bubbles in the air

or pulling strings attached to wooden chickens who feed on

imaginary grain.


Where are the children?


At night, when the last of two pieces of fish are gone,

including their heads and tails,

you will find them on thin, woven mats

with no blanket to keep their toes warm

but with eyes closed dreaming of ships, planes and other lands,

winged carabaos,

talking horses,

sliding on rainbows

and falling into a pot of pandesal,


for tomorrow’s ware

warm on their heads

and more than enough to fill even their own stomach.


Published in: on August 7, 2011 at 3:38 am  Leave a Comment  

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