Little Shoeshine Boy

I wish he had a better life

By Maria Reyna
Published on LatinoLA: August 31, 2006

Little Shoeshine Boy

He was shot at point blank by another human-being

He spent most of his adult life in and out of prison

I think he couldn't function in the outside world anymore

He was a nice looking guy: tall, slender but muscular and strong

His shoes were always spit shine

He could have been an actor or a model with his handsome looks

But instead became an alcoholic like his father

What a shame

He was a tortured soul to look at

An abused, neglected little shoeshine boy.

As a child -He use to shine shoes and sell chickles to help his mother

His father was a street vendor

His mother washed and ironed clothes for people

He was the second oldest of eleven children

His father was a miserable soul-an alcoholic-

A womanizer, a wife beater..

This little boy was badly abused as a child

Physically and emotionally beaten by his father

One day he got tired of the abuse- and stood up to his father

He grabbed his father?s leg as he went to kick him

He said no more old man-you are not going to beat us anymore.

His mother loved him dearly ?He was her favorite..Her only son

The shoeshine boy and his mother somehow saved enough money

to leave

I heard his mom use to sneak money from her husband wallet when he would pass out

At night-he use to put his wallet under his pillow before he went to sleep.

They bought train tickets and left the wretched, abusive drunk

And never went back

The young boy never recovered from the abuse

Unfortunately his only role model had been his father- and became a lot like him

as a grown man.

He was abusive towards women

Abused himself with alcohol

This abused little shoeshine boy was my brother Benjamin

We were not very close, He was quite older that I was. I wish he had a better life. I didn't get to go to his funeral. I later visited his grave site; His grave is covered with long blades of grass and a slab of cement stuck in the ground as a headstone. He has a son named Christopher whom I've never met. His mom remarried and her new husband adopted Christopher.

I hope that my Brother has found some peace and is with my mother.

About Maria Reyna:
Maria Reyna:Varied Artist,Painter, Poet, Storyteller

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