by Mari McKee
A poem about poverty
|See Me, Hear Me, Feel Me
I live in the projects,
with a mother grown old before her age,
raising six children alone,
I have never known a daddy.
Governed by ignorance, not stupidity,
zombie-like eyes, not knowing we found her stash,
no escape anywhere outside,
no hope anywhere inside.
Dreams and bodies shattered,
trying to leave only to return
running in eternal circles,
to nowhere ad infinitum.
Indifference to our endogenous plight,
conscious decision to make me invisible,
selective hearing so you don’t hear my cries
I’m no longer human so you won’t feel guilt.
Malicious comments meant to be overheard,
trying to find money for toilet tissue,
not covered by food stamps
left with no dignity, no humanity.
On the inevitable dirt playground,
sad crooked hoops minus nets,
stolen guns and knives,
have become my Fisher Price toys.
My neighbors are drugs dealers and whores,
both with arms riddled with abscesses
caused by dirty needles,
tempting us with their wares of death.
Insidious evil lurks around every corner,
at the cusp of becoming an unwed teen mother,
my brothers heading for prison,
no prom dress or graduation gown for me.
I live in your town
you pass me by daily,
Yet, you don't realize
that my salvation is in your hands.
Hear my prayer; I am poverty.