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Tears drive a path down a blackened face,
welling from eyes that squint in morning mist
and cry out for love from a mother never there
and a father ignorant of him.  Abandonment weighs
him down and he clings to rags that barely swathe him
but bind him to neglect and impoverishment.

Hunger has sliced flesh from slight frame and bones
jut at pained angle: bruised and battered already,
by life's torture of unwanted existence.

He appears invisible.

Shrouded by bleakness and oblivious to halt the raging torment,
he knows not of a way out.  Singularly brave beneath a welt of doom,
wheals of agony stretch before him.

Yet all he sees is goodness.

A hand offered to console him, to grip his fingers tight,
is momentarily grasped.  His surrogate rescue from persecution.

Parentage by proxy.

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