Am I the child of a man?
That my uncircumcised shoulders
Should bear the burden of a man
My tender heart crucified
By endless quests for love?

Am I the child of a woman?
That though still a virgin
My body has become a hive
Where drones hum and fuss
And only steal my honey?

Am I the child of a beast?
That rogue dogs claw at me
And bark in hateful affection
While we grope for a stale piece
Discarded by a bloated glutton?

Am I the child of the jungle?
That the sun prides in roasting my back,
And morning frost in chewing my limbs,
As the rains pounds my bare head
And launders these tatters that gird my loins?

Am I the child of all?
That you spit and curse and hit me
When I beg for a coin for a plate
Or a penny for a bottle at the cobbler’s
And kill me with the look of an eye?

Am I the child of none?
That none should love me,
And ever wonder who bore this shame
This being with neither home nor kin
Who am I?

(This is the lamentation –in monologue- of an unwanted child trying to find a place in a society in which he/she finds himself/herself out of place, uncared for, harassed and abused).

© Kiarii Wainaina