I'm Going To Sleep. If Dad Calls, Wake Me Up.*

My homework's tough, I can't do number six.
I never have been any good at sums.
My head hurts and I'm feeling pretty sick.
But Dad can sort it all out when he comes.

I kicked my football up onto the roof.
Tho' Pedro broke the window, so they say.
Dad'll kill me if I don't tell the truth.
But never mind, I just live for today.

Maybe that's him I hear outside the door.
What is this stuff they give me in a cup?
The lights are looking brighter than before.
I'm going to sleep. If Dad calls, wake me up.


* The title of this poem are the last words uttered by a 12-year-old Colombian boy who died of cancer at the beginning of the year. His father was a police corporal who had been captured by guerrillas. The plight of the boy and his father deeply touched a nation exasperated by 38 years of violence and rebel brutality. Despite heartfelt pleas to let him visit his son's deathbed, however, and offers from hundreds of Colombians to swap places with him, his captors refused to let him go, finally delivering his rotting, bullet-riddled corpse to the International Red Cross last week. This is in memory of Jose Norberto Perez Ruiz, and his son, Andres.



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