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TAGS: Children; Human rights; Poetry; Sheila Banani
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One poem inspired by female infanticide in China.

The Eyes of the Children

by Sheila Banani

published in dialogue, 1:2, page 21
Los Angeles: 1986
LOS ANGELES TIMES, Sunday, April 17, news item:

Peking: An alarmed Chinese government is moving to protect baby girls, who are being killed by the
thousands in the countryside by parents who want a son for the one child that official policy allows
them to have ... In some rural areas, boys under the age of 5 outnumber girls 5 to 1 ... Corpses of
abandoned female infants were found in streams, caves, hillsides, fields...

Clear pools of love-shining
      hope held here
newborn: mother-lover

Where can I hide you,
      mirror of me,
but clean and new-souled?

This dark world needs
      strong men
      victors for our wars
      seers of our visions

Rest easy here
      under the leaves
      under the water
      under the stars

Close your eyes
Don’t look at me now.

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