I am the disheveled woman seated at the corner
of the street with parched lips, a pale face and
Scratching my face and body, observing passersby
like zombies from a bad horror movie as my stomach
riots in protest.
I roam through the hot and dusty streets like a lunatic.
Scrounging around looking for food, picking filthy
scraps flung from dinner tables.
Taking the scolding and beating from restaurant
owners like a champ.
Vying with the marabou storks for left over foods
thrown in the street.
I am the impoverished woman living below the
Dealing with life’s many hurdles in my career.
Red carded by success, struggling with lack of
Pocketing frustration and distress, trying to
walk through a financial tight rope in order to get
out of the poverty zone but everything is stagnant.
I am forlorn- the poverty stricken employee living
alone in a tiny one room apartment with worry
wrinkling my brow.
Exposed and exploited- slaving for more than 60
hours a week for just pocket change.
I am the sick woman who refers to medical care
as a luxury, instead of a necessity because i am
too poor to afford treatment.
I stare at people across the street from my shadowed
doorway because of my emaciated body.
Always choking on debts, overwhelmed by the rent
on the table and accumulated bills as homelessness
lurks outside the door like a criddler.
I am the rusty monument in the middle of the city.
Trashed, mocked and ignored.
The pathetic stench overshadowed by the fumes of
I am the glamorized images of poverty circulating
around on social media.
The countless unheard stories buried 6feet below
The portrait smudged on the faces of some charity
The life lesson for souls wallowing and drowning
in poverty with tattered barriers of hope.
I am poverty, living hand to mouth, struggling to
survive in a bad economy.
Clutching onto hope that someday I will crawl
and claw my way from such an abyss and catch
the bus ride to success.
I am Poverty: I wear the faces of hungry children
all over the world and bear burdens of the homeless
with my indefinable spirit, strong will to survive
and a rich mind.
I am Poverty. Next time you see me on the street,
please stop and say “hello”.