The inspiration for this poem came from things I have personally seen, stories I have heard and very importantly from a book by renowned Photo-journalist Don McCullin which I came across in 2010 (same year I wrote this poem). The book was titled ‘Life Interrupted’. It was a photographic exhibition of HIV/AIDS in Africa and to me, it clearly showed poverty’s role in it.
This poem is not meant to support/promote stereotypes.
This poem is meant to open our eyes to what many people are clueless about; something which has thrived since time immemorial despite best efforts. It’s things ordinary people face but which are more pronounced as a result of poverty. As you read through the poem, read slowly and let the first line continue to ricochet in your mind. Poverty is everywhere.
Poverty is one of the worst sieges of humankind
Poverty is everywhere
It’s lack of sleep
It’s felt deep within
People actually rot in it.
It’s tears without emotion
It’s hunger without feeling
It’s a memory without events
Poverty is shared.
It’s love without showing it
It’s full of dry laughter
It’s togetherness for survival
It’s not survival of the fittest
It’s survival together
It’s kinda like sharing a slice of bread with a loved one
Poverty is a hunting bear
Its huge eyes staring out of clear sockets
Its bright eyes full of expectancy.
It is hope even in despair
It’s sharing moments together,
Not knowing tomorrow
It’s not worrying of tomorrow
But focusing on making today work
It’s hand to mouth
A little laughter, a little tear all in between
Poverty is full of sickness
The curable, the incurable
It’s full of despair and lost hope
It’s full of little shackles jammed together
It’s looking out wondering what’s next
It’s little kids smiling all through
Smiles that aren’t real
But is part of being a child
The line separating the poor and the rich
So thin and yet very distinctive
Not allowing for a little mix
Or a little sharing
Poverty is… different
Poverty is simply life interrupted!
©Oreoluwa Matemilola 2017
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Oreoluwa Matemilola and orematem.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.