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An Orphans Voice


I wrote the following poem based on Psalm 68, where David writes that God is a “Father to the fatherless, defender of widows–this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families.”

This poem is dedicated to children all around the world that have been forgotten. It is for victims of injustice, war, disease, abuse, lust and greed. These are the children God asks the church to defend.

I wrote this poem thinking about the amazing, brilliant children I have met in India, Africa, Mexico, Haiti, Peru and our own inner cities:

My mama’s sick, my daddy’s gone
My belly’s empty, I’m all alone
I can’t grow food, the ground is poison
Religion says, it’s the path I have chosen
My papa lives in a new steel home
It’s a solitary place, no room to roam
His hug feels good, I need to cleave
I have to go, and he can’t leave
The man with car, driving up the street
He gives me things, always bitter sweet
I will find love, even if it hurts
Pain has become, the way I feel, the way I divert

He says he loves me, I want to believe
He beats me sick, my skin starts to bleed
My actions compromise, he’s gonna make me rich
I need a new definition, love shouldn’t feel like this
I sweat with fever, mosquitos rage
Can’t get a net, it’s a two week wage
Rain forgotten, water brown
It’s all I drink, intestines pound
Church round the corner says they have good news
Only open an hour a week, I am confused
They say that Jesus loves me, I better get in
I tell them, I need to experience God, with bones and skin
Gunshots past my window, sunset brings a brand new show
I survive another corner, I survive another go
I’m told there is a God, I’m told he’s a father
I’ve been burned before, I’m not gonna bother
New job in the city, there’s a new hope pending
I’ve been lied to once again, now I’m a slave never ending
My parents think I’m safe, I’m making a living
I’m used everyday, more animal than human being
I have no value, I have no worth
Accidents happen, including my birth
I have no future, I have no sight
But I will survive today, I’m ready to fight
I need a dad, I need a mom
I need a house, I need a home
I’m one of millions, yet all alone
I’m looking for a place where love is shown
I’ve heard of children, with gold in their hand
I want to go there, this forgotten land
Where a bitter pill will make me better
Please someone notice, I’m praying for a letter
I want to go where children aren’t fatherless
Where my bellies full and the streets are harmless
I want to go where love doesn’t hurt and mosquitos don’t kill
Where churches are trading and Grace is the deal
I want to go where I feel safe, no longer looking behind me
Where I can find God, a heavenly father, who places the lonely in families

*excerpt taken from “The Power of an Orange Chair” by Ken Burkey