young children

a poem by Radhika Tandon



Oh, look! Such young children!

With their small, rosy faces,

Oh, where do you go?

Oh, what do you do?


Do you go to school,

To read and write,

Do you run freely and smile often,

Knowing tomorrow there’s not another battle to fight?


Do you sleep unworried, with no wrinkles and marks?

On those innocent faces, but with a small smile,

As you drift into the land of wonders?


No, these children go out into this harsh world,

Full of darkness, cruelty and unhappiness,

Face the sad reality, and lose their sweet innocence.


They work like adults, earn wages,

To provide their family with food,

They stay up at night,

Rethinking the way of life.


They overwork their frail bodies,

Just to survive another day,

Their hands tell their story as well as they can,

Everything they do, it is to make their parents happy.


Doesn’t it make your eyes water?

To see them struggle like this,

To see what could have been their days to soar in the limitless skies,

Get ruined in front of our eyes,

As we sit and stare, as the time passes us by.


Let us show a little humanity,

By freeing these innocent children,

From the clutches of labor and violence,

And once again, see the fire dance in their golden eyes,

For them to grow, and learn, and to live,

To be what they wish, without being put into cages.

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