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LANE, Patrick

The Children Of Bogotá

The first thing to understand, Manuel says,

Is that they’re not children. Don’t start feeling

Sorry for them. There are five thousand

Roaming the streets of this city

And just because they look innocent

Doesn’t make them human. Any one

Would kill you for the price of a meal.

Children? See those two in the gutter

Behind that stall? I saw them put out

The eyes of a dog with thorns because

It barked at them. Tomorrow it could be you.

No one knows where they come from

But you can be sure they’re not going.

In five years they’ll be men and tired of killing

Dogs. And when that happens you’ll be the first

To cheer when the carabineros shoot them down.