Forgotten Australians, memories, poetry

Sorry

by Peter Knight (guest author) on 7 July, 2010

Lana Syed forwarded this poem, written by fellow resident of Nudgee Orphanage, Peter Knight who died earlier this year:

Sorry

 Please help me, a faint childlike voice calls.
Please help me, I am scared and lost in this
strange misty world.
I don’t know for sure, but I think it’s because
I am a welfare child.
Please help me, don’t let me die in this isolated
state of mind.
Believe me, please, I am sorry my mother was too
ill to take good care of us, and I am also very sorry
that my dad died.
I am very, very sorry for that time when I came to you
and begged for food, but I was so very hungry and
didn’t know what else to do.

I know that the tiny morsels of food that you gave us, so
you have often enough said, would feed an African family
for a week, so even if I’m hungry, I promise not to ask for
more, and I’m sorry I never look neat enough, and for the
way my clothes seem to fall apart at will.
I know that you are kind, kind people, so I have been told, work
your fingers to the bone to care for the likes of us welfare
kids. All I can say is that I’m sorry for being such an
ungrateful welfare child, and I promise to take the shame
and guilt you laid on me, to the grave.

© 2000 Peter Knight

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