Thursday, November 11, 2010

Poetic Asides November Day 11 "prompt No one wants____________"

No One Wants the Orphans

In Romania before the fall of Communism
The west viewed the situation there as dire
Especially that of ‘those gypsies’, they’d say
Tsking and shaking their heads and acting
As if they knew how it was for the Roma
Those born to the life of the gypsy ...

Then, the USSR crashed apart and soon after
The Ceacescus were hung, both of them
And there was great rejoicing – at least
In the West – where many thought by breaking
The back of the communist manifesto, all
Would be well now, not knowing that for
Gypsies, they were merely exchanging
One set of terrible circumstances for another

From the west, all the well-meaning do-gooders
Went off to view the orphanages in Bucharest
And Moldova and other places throughout
The newly freed poverty-stricken countries—
Only to find totally appalling circumstances;
Cribs jammed side by side, with more than one infant
 In each and so few staff to manage the underfed
And horribly unclean babies they had to hose down
Once or twice a day in cold water (no hot available)

 Infant mortality rate was, not surprisingly, very high
So western families stepped up immediately
Trying to adopt as many of these orphans as quickly
As could be arranged, but such was the publicity
Surrounding these horrid places, the new governments
Wishing to appear progressive with no ties to the old
Decided the best way to address the situation
Was to eliminate the problem at its source and since
Most, if not all of the children were Roma – that is gypsy
They were not seen as human beings in their countries

So eventually, it was deemed best to terminate the adoptions,
Close the edifices and pour the children back out onto the street
As one might imagine, the ones grown old enough to fend
Became the quintessential street kids, some even made it back
To their families but they became the main breadwinners there
Learning to steal and beguile as soon as their bare feet
Hit the ground; others, not old enough to survive— did not
And the west, most of the west in any case, thought the problem
Had been eradicated and, in a sense, it had been, had it not?


  1. I knew about some of this, but what a harrowing story you have told. And now France has joined in, expelling all the immigrant Roma. What a dreadful world we live in.

  2. At times, it does seem so, yes Vivienne - I don't think I would have known about the state of the Roma children had my youngest daughter not travelled there several years ago as part of a dental mission (she is now a financial advisor so this was in another lifetime almost) - Katy came back a changed woman, for the better. She still supports the orphans there and keeps tabs on that situation which is ongoing and continues to be a desperate one.