A Mother Weeps
With hungry eyes and fearful glance
Her child squats with dirty feet
in crumbling doorways -
Wonders why angry men
Burn flags, feed each other bullets.
Nurtured in ignorance, fed on hate
He plays at dangerous games
And shouts, "I am a man!"
No food today, and yet
His belly’s rounded, full of faith
A mother weeps.
A Daughter Comes of Age
At half past six, she sits alone,
With a week-old crust
of tadik and a pan
of rusty, dusty water
and the memory of angry words -
words they never
read from the Koran.
At seven, she crawls inside
The hated veil,
Shroud of mystery,
Just to see what it feels like,
To be a woman.
At half past eight, she brushes off the flies.
Looks into the lifeless eyes
of the one who gave her birth.
To be a woman?
She knows now, what Death feels like.
Growing Up: Just Pennies a Day
"Clean your plate,
or it'll rain! Don't you know
there are children starving in Africa?"
Colombia, Peru, Philadelphia,
Miami, Australia, Los Angeles, New York...
You knew. You knew
I wanted to scrape clean my plate,
scrape clean my soul,
tie it all up with brown twine,
mail it off, care of Unicef...
If they're so hungry, maybe they'd appreciate
cold liver and onions.
But I am saved,
for just 42 cents - pennies - a day,
courtesy of the land
waaaaay over there,
where children are fed,
palaces raised -
and absolution is bought
For the price of your morning coffee!
This post is part of Blog Action Day 08 - Poverty