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This poem prepares your mind for the stench of poverty

Poem: When the statistics is read


Living under the poverty datum line

Children play with empty stomachs

Mothers weep from their close encounters with death

Fathers are chronically weak

From their courageous attempts to cross the poverty datum line

Nothing is amusing when you are hungry

Poverty is not only a pandemic for the poor families (countries)

It’s a malignant cancer for the human psyche

Our collective consciousness might be thriving

But deep underneath we are losing the moral fibres

That held humanity together for eons of years

Poverty is not only wreaking havoc in the homes

It’s puncturing the veil of human integrity

Allowing the face of humanity to be exposed

To other marauding scavengers like diseases

That feed on human flesh

We saw the rise of Covid-19 disease

With its ferocious appetite

We became fodder in its mouth

We became the statistics in the book of records

When the statistics is read

Let us be ready to cover our mouths

The stench of poverty is overwhelming

World economies are drowning

World poverty is increasing

And the poverty datum line is bloated

Fully engorged with human suffering


©Kenneth Maswabi


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