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Here is a poem
for the others
who are born on mud floors
marshland and high plain
in homes of plastic and flattened tin
in spat-out estates in lands
whose time has gone
in the mewling sprawling cities
of the south and east and rising world
who tumble down out of shanty towns
looking for work and hope and food
who doss down in shop doorways
on park benches in abandoned cars
who snatch sleep on night buses and on tubes
amid the echo of gunfire
who ride the long trains north in the night
running the gauntlet of gangs, police, La Migra
who slip across borders soft as water
on blistered feet
and take their calloused hands
to the sweatshop, the factory, the scramble
for work at the corner of the street
who live in fear of being
denounced, detained, deported,
who will be trafficked, who will be sold
who will die before they are one year old
who will deal drugs in the barrio, the favela
who will get by, whatever
whose crops will fail
whose names will be known to no-one
but themselves and the hot dry wind
who dream, as we do
who are coming now,
an unstoppable future.
© Steve Pottinger. 23 July 2013