they are like us yet treated small;
Head and eye they have but always bent
have words to speak yet no hearer is meant.
Living in houses where roof touches ground
far off from where the mansions abound;
their dreams end as soon as they start
with no sign of rest for their wearied heart.
Dressed in rags and decorated in dirt
hugged by sickness and caressed by insult;
Their hands move from feet to feet
gaining little more than dirt and spit.
Mothers unable to feed their babes with dry breasts
while father in a bar or brothel rests;
eating leftovers from rich tables
to gather which dignity fumbles.
Let presidents and ministers change or die
but none listen to their cry;
millions of schemes made for their sake
yet in the kiln of poverty they still bake.
Just a penny or two we throw at them
old rags, spoilt food and useless filth we donate as gem;
not a smile shared or any love showed
yet we claim, we paid what we owed.
They are poor yet they are our neighbours
to be loved and respected for their labours;
so let us banish their fears and unwantedness
then can we find Kingdom of God in us.
If we are able to fly let's be thankful to God for it
try change the world by doing our bit;
let's care for these birds which have wings yet cannot fly
offer them our hand and with them fly high.
Br Emmanuel Jerome Lewis (Archdiocese of Hyderabad)