(Written for the "Ghetto Life" competition)

Edificio condenado
reads the sign
nailed to the ancient wooden door
now permanently ajar
scaling creaky stairs
visible damp, cold air
settles in my bones
A baby’s cry guides me
walking down the apartment corridor
lit only by a solitary, broken window
light struggling to filter through the grime
Answering my knock
a skinny, shirtless, dirty-faced boy
swings the door wide
¿Qué quiere?
At first unable to respond
overcome by the stench
from unwashed bodies, raw sewage
mold, coating the walls like open sores
¿Están tus padres?
Mi marido no está
he lives with another woman down the block
a ghost of lady says, approaching the door
Though hollow-eyed from fatigue and hunger
a hint of the once beautiful creature shone through
clutching a hungry baby to her breast
surrounded by four other small mouths to feed
One frail daughter
disfigured in a fire
is described as an asset to the family business
begging for their sustenance
Daily displayed on the subway steps
her scars by her mother exposed
hoping the pitiful sight
will coax more limosna from passers by
Oh what a charmed and privileged life do I lead
Written by Gahddess_Worship (Osomajestuoso)
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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