Magazine article New Internationalist

"The Poverty Line"

Magazine article New Internationalist

"The Poverty Line"

Article excerpt

I was poor. Very poor. There was no food to quell my hunger No clothes to hide the shame of my naked body No roof above my head. You were so kind. You came and you said 'No. Poverty is a debasing word. It dehumanizes man. You are needy.' My days were spent in dire need. My needy days, day after day, were never-ending. As I grew weaker Again you came. This time you said. 'Look, I've thought it over, "Needy" is not a good word either. You are destitute.' My days and my nights, like a deep longing sigh, Bore my destitution. Cowering in the burning heat, Shivering in the cold winter nights, Drenched in the never-ending rains. I went from being destitute to greater destitution. But you were tireless. Again you came. This time you said 'There is no meaning to this destitution. Why should you be destitute? You have always been denied. You are deprived, the ever deprived.' There was no end to my deprivation. In hunger and in want, year after year, Sleeping in the open streets under the relentless sky My body a mere skeleton Was barely alive. …

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