Lament…for those who live perched above the dump, constantly watched by venues of circling vultures

People who had to leave their rural communities came to the city in search of work. These are houses built on the ravines at the garbage dump where they often find themselves living when they can't find work here either.
People who had to leave their rural communities came to the city in search of work. These are houses built on the ravines at the garbage dump where they often find themselves living when they can’t find work here either.

To the vultures, they are just food;
their deaths and their lives, fodder for the circling birds of prey.

From above they look like one mass.
Even from the churches crowning the crests,
they are only a mass, a ceremony, a ritual.
“Only wait,” they say.
“In heaven you will rise up,” they say.

But to Ana who leaves the crest and climbs down,
no mass-no mas-no more.
Ah, she says, I see you!
You are a person…and another;
a baby boy and a blooming girl and a dying grandmother.

So many, so many, so many
but not a mass.
One and one and one and one,
living in shacks that cling to the ravine walls;
smelling the rotting excess just below.

Yet, kissed by mothers and by the light;
seen by Creator; recognized by I AM.

O, my God, she cries out, I have seen your children suffering;
I cannot forget.
No longer am I one perched above, ignorant and innocent.
I am wailing; I am angry…
I am guilty.

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