Street Kid


Iakovos Garivaldis

“What’s the name of my mama?
She’s da Street
But don’t ask me ‘bout my father
Lady dear,
Look ‘a here…”
As he turns to scratch the surface of the road…
Looking down upon his luck,
Kicking hard at every rock.

Then at dusk
fingers black
in his nails all the muck…
Sniffing thinner in a corner,
In the dark.
Dreaming dreams about purity not love.

Who can clothe him
not reject him,
Who can now understand him?

Smoking grass,
And sniffing glue
Just to see if dreams come true,
Just to smell what eyes don’t see;

And some day, a lethal dose
Just as sudden as he came
Falling motionless
And in vain
In a placid, timorous gaze…

There, my lady
Now he’s rich,
Part of rain and the mist
All within our own sight…

Little child of the road,
In this world all you have sought
Is embedded in the dust upon your hair
And refreshed with the rain
Running silently while spinning
round your neck.


© Iakovos Garivaldis
Photographs from Wikipedia
Background photo (“Riischildren” by Jacob Riis (May 3, 1849 – May 26, 1914) – Taken from Licensed under Public Domain via Commons –

6 thoughts on “Street Kid”

  1. A sad poem, Iakovos. I particularly like the opening stanza and a great photo to illustrate ‘Street Kid.’ Well done! Gabrielle.

  2. Thank you Gabrielle,
    This is truly a sad poem, however real. Life is not what it looks like through the TV screens. It is much more devastating than that and man can be brutal where he can be understanding. There’s a reason for everything, we just don’t look hard enough at times.

  3. How true! verses that makes ones’ eyes watery. And yet so much cruelty around that makes one wonder if man is just a mask of the animal. I worry so much about our anorigines, or the little Syrian guys who are dying because of our cruelty…I don’t know anymore about the role of the so called ” humanity “. Oh my God , have mersy on us for we are lost in your earthy wilderness! Dear Iakovos these verses remind me of the many tragedies of yesterday,today and alas, of tomorrow!


  4. Σε όποια γλώσσα κι αν γράφει τελικά ο ποιητής, η ευαισθησία είναι που “φτιάχνει” τις λέξεις, τις μεγαλύνει, αλλάζει τις διαστάσεις τους και γεννάει συναίσθημα! Και το βλέμμα των παιδιών, το δάκρυ κι η μοναξιά τους σ’όλες τις γλώσσες …ίδια!
    Αρκεί να σκύψει η ψυχή… κι έσκυψε Ιάκωβε, με τη λιτή καίρια γραφή σου!

  5. Dear Iakove, a well- written poem about the woes of street kids, all over the world, that sadly never seem to end. That’s one more indication of the vicious circle that makes the world we live in so frustrating.

  6. Dear friends,
    You are incorrigibly hospitable and unequivocally sociable in expressing your thoughts about this poem, but also other poems and literature at Diasporic. This is a podium for such persons who make the world a better place to live.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart, however the question remains what can we do to eradicate poverty at least for these destitute children?


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