Children Of The Street Poem by Chinedu Dike

Children Of The Street

Rating: 4.7

In their faces a colourless gaping of life's adversity:
the hopeless grief of a hellish existence;
Malnourished, starving, filth and olfactory horrors;  
Their humiliating nothingness clothed in rags;  
Usually barefooted with low self-esteem;  
Begging, and rummaging through garbage for
thrown-away foods to assuage pangs of hunger;
Oftentimes feeling cold that comes from being sickly;
Sleeping or indulging in cheap cocktails of toxic
sedatives at the dark corners of the street:
these dispositions identify them to society as
'Children Of The Street: The Roofless And Rootless Kids.'

The hapless minors squat in the open on the street,
or at some ill-suited but out of sight places.
Day to day they fall prey to all manner of violence
and abusive treatments, in hostile surroundings
where childhood apparently has come to an end.
They're menaced by extreme weather conditions:  
be it scorching summer heat, severe storms,  
or bone-chilling winter temperatures. 
They belong to nowhere and to no one:
no place to reckon upon as 'home sweet home',
and no comfort whatever is found on the street
where the public spurn them with icy contempt.

'Children Living On The Street' is a global reality.
With the urban slums serving as notorious hotbeds,
poverty accompanied by toxic homes account for
a vast number of minors who migrate onto the street.
Family break-up, parental demise, abandonment, war,
and other varied socio-cultural/political changes that
take their toll on them, also prod them into vagrancy.
Left to their fate, the vulnerable kids miss out on
physical, mental, emotional and spiritual growth.
In the absence of needful guidance, they struggle for
survival on the fringes of society - trapped in a cycle
of destitution that only few are lucky to escape from.

'Homeless Children' through no fault of their own
are denied the very essentials of childhood.
Unwanted and uncared for they bear the brunt of
all sorts of contagious diseases, lice and bedbugs
infestations, plus the forever pestering flees that feast
on open wounds - with scant access to health care.
Stomachs plagued by worms, they roam the streets
where no public toilets are left ajar to get in free.
Barely clinging to life, roofless kids hang on desperately.
With scarcely any human hands to wipe away tears
of bitter pain, they gnash their teeth in extremities.
Many live and yield up the ghost on the street. 


The poem is a forthright portrayal of the fierce wretchedness of Homeless Kids, as seen mostly in third world and developing countries (some parts of Africa, Asia and South America) .

Bear in mind that the vast majority of children who end up homeless, do not do so by choice. Disruptive home situations are mostly responsible for mere minors leaving the family house, to seek a sense of wellbeing that has eluded them at home on the street.

Street Connected Kids (Street Kids) fall into one of two groups: 'Children On The Street' or 'Children Of The Street'.

'Children On The Street' spend time on the street playing truant, hawking or subjected to other forms of child labour to assist in the household income. They're not entirely without protection from their families or guardians, to whom they return to at the end of the day, to bath, eat and sleep.

'Children Of The Street', on the other hand, are literally homeless: they're roofless and on their own. They're adjudged to be rootless because many do not know their families, and the ones that have left theirs homes view such ties in a negative light. This group of street kids comprises mainly, abandoned, orphaned and runaway kids.

The street is the place where homeless kids live and struggle for existence on daily basis. Highly vulnerable to abuse, violence and all sorts of bad influences, they often suffer from depression, anxiety and trauma. Physical injuries remain one of the leading causes of death among Children Of The Street.

Shown below is a picture of homeless kids, who had nowhere else to rest their heads but a waste dump.

Children Of The Street
Saturday, December 3, 2016
Topic(s) of this poem: child abuse,childhood ,children
Children Of The Street
Constipated Poet 11 March 2017

Tears fall from my eyes reading your words and seeing the picure below. it could not be said any better, any more powerful than this. you need to run for office because i know you could do such much good.

6 0 Reply
Chinedu Dike 11 March 2017

A heartfelt and insightful comment. Thanks for your wonderful appraisal of the poem. May your future and present be greater than your past would let you dream of. Always remain blessed.

1 0
Valsa George 20 November 2018

They have no self esteem and are deprived of all childhood joys! The picture accompanying is heart rending! As ever, I understand that you are always with the deprived! Top marks!

4 0 Reply
Chinedu Dike 20 November 2018

Hi Prof, thanks for your beautiful comment. Remain blessed.

0 0
Adiela Akoo 24 November 2018

Your humanity shines through your work. Another touching poem highlighting the sad plight of these street children.

3 0 Reply
Sumit Datta 21 February 2023

A heart touching account for poor and homeless children. Very sad imagery painted here.

0 0 Reply
Bharati Nayak 08 November 2022

A great poem that expresses profoundly the wretched life of street children, uncared, unloved without a roof over their head nor any caring hands to sooth their pain, they are exposed to all sorts of misery and vulnerable to violence.

0 0 Reply
Rose Marie Juan-austin 02 September 2022

Revisiting this spellbinding poem. So deeply poignant and touching and it resonates with me. I have seen so many street children...hand to mouth existence and sometimes no food at all.

0 0 Reply
Rose Marie Juan-austin 19 July 2022

A profound and powerful poem so brilliantly presented as always. Thank you for sharing, Chinedu. Great read! !

0 0 Reply
Rose Marie Juan-austin 19 July 2022

This poem is so relatable. I have seen so many of these children. My heart melts whenever I see their living conditions and how they are treated by society.

0 1 Reply
Chinedu Dike

Chinedu Dike

Enugwu-Ukwu, Anambra State; Nigeria.
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