Monday, April 03, 2017

NaWriPoMo #5 Reminded of real poverty

I watched a mini-documentary last night about living on a dollar a day in Central America and how hard that is to do. It is barely living as so much of the world does. I thought back to my time in North Africa, The Philippians, and Papua New Guinea---seeing such poverty.
I often forget here in my office with my cozy space heater, full belly, and clean water that anything like that exists. I think of my World Vision sponsor child in Malawi too and how I haven’t been as faithful in encouraging him and his village as I just write a check every month.
Poverty is devastating on so many levels. I see the tents around Seattle, under the bridges, and so many people begging and it makes me weep. What can we do? This poem doesn’t get at all those thoughts swirling around, but I hope it conveys some of the feelings.

That All Men Are Created Equal
Living below the poverty line
As if there was a rope
Suspended above huts
And somewhere above
On a city sidewalk
There was no rope
But solid steel framed
No leaks
No floods
Polished floors
No dirt
No hunger
Ten times more than enough
Slide down the earth
Falling out of the city
Or around it
Below tall buildings
Is a rope
That isn’t to help
Those off the sidewalks
Or out of the tents
Off to the side of highways
It is roping out
An area where
We keep
The have nots
The want nots
The invisible
They reach for the rope
But it slips through their fingers
What if a window from those tall buildings
Opened and let down a sturdy rope?
To tie onto the one that cuts across hope
And it lifted up the line
And with it, those that could not stand
Would stand under it
And reach up
Holding on
To ride on other’s strength
As we pulled
And brought them to their feet
And kept pulling
Until they were climbing in the window
To have
To be desired
That we saw each other
They use the strength of being lifted
To rise up
Rise up, oh man
And lift up, oh woman
To tie knots in the poverty line

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