Poetry

POVERTY

Poverty
Defined as the state of being poor
 To lack
.
There are those who will define it:
To lack education
To lack money
To lack food
To lack shelter
To lack manners
To lack CLASS
.
There are only two classes
The oppressor and
The oppressed
Poverty corrodes hope, seeps into
its epicenter and progressively destroys
its very essence
.
Lack of hope lies in a mother
who must make the extraordinary resolution
of selling her oldest daughter to the
highest bidding sex trafficker
so she can feed hope to her smaller children
.
Poverty steals respect from its prisoners
Hides it behind the cloak of judgment
.
 Undeserving peons and uncultured brutes
.
Lack of respect toward a man because
to provide some dignity for his family
he cleans latrines in the slums of 
New Delhi
and smells of feces and limestone
 .
Poverty 
Sometimes white, but often
black and brown
A future drowned in muddled waters
The constant and repugnant smell of gangrene
 .
A nightmare to those that live in it
A distant romanticized charity case to those who hear or read of it
.
Poverty shames and erodes any lingering self-worth
Seizing the divine right  to love oneself
.
Lack of self-worth in the 14 year-old prostitute
Who allows strange and filthy hands
To fondle her intelligence and dreams
And sodomize her childhood
.
Poverty subscribes to the American Dream, lures naïve expectations
through the unforgiving desert terrain,  2,000 border miles of
decomposed aspirations and desires
 .
Expendable lives
.
Poverty rips lineages apart, disregarding culture,
traditions and stories once told in the mother tongue.
It separates mothers from their children, husbands from their wives,
Love from the heart
.
Poverty starves, depletes the spirit of optimism and renders
a mother powerless when all she has to feed her children
are stale and hardened “bolillos” as she sits
below the backdrop of a window to an upscale restaurant.
 .
Her heart shatters with each bite her children take,
each bite of a reality too cruel to swallow.
 .
Poverty dehumanizes, deems you
Lazy and apathetic
3,491,312 students dropped out
condemned last year as they attempted to walked for the last time
through the fortress of our
public schools.
 
Expendable lives
3,491,312 defeats
3,491,312 casualties
 .
Look into a student’s eyes and
Tell me that child doesn’t have a dream
Look into a student’s eyes and
Tell me that child doesn’t
Care
Look into a student’s eyes and
Tell them there is no hope
.
Labyrinths of poverty designed to trap and confuse like the
Projects in Chicago
Minted with corridors of blood where fear and desperation reside
.
Poverty is the worst form of violence

.

It             Steals
                                                    Corrodes
Shames
                            Rips
                                                Disregards
    Separates
                                  Starves
                                                                                            Shatters
    Judges
                                 Defeats                                                                                        Alienates
    Destroys
   
                     Dehumanizes                    
 

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