poetry, philosophy, science - sifted through me, as I am

Monday, 30 January 2012

Should the poor look poor?

I wrote this poem after reading this excellent blogpost today.

Poor Woman

Kindness, hospitality, warm with hands
around the mug of basic coffee
Feet shuffle on the neat coloured rug
While the ears listen
and the scribing fills notepad sheets
A corner of the sofa fades under
carefully placed smartening azure throws
The hint of vacuum cleaner air remains

How is your life?
What does life like this mean?
A sweep-back of hair while
considering the confidences given
The admissions of hard days
A little tremolo in the account of when
toilet roll is lacking
But you can still live? Survive?
Celebrating or taking part in our society
cannot be given up. No
What we can give, in time, comes back full again
It took long months, a year, but the ticket was bought
A greeting hug was finally grasped with her
emigrated sister at a long haul arrivals gate

But, with the final handshake at the terraced doors,
simple requirements are those pencilled to fit
Appearing under the banner "Our borough needs!"
A summation is given of the Poor Woman
The picture chosen has sad eyes
and another campaign column is filled

It doesn't take long. An anonymous tip
"She's a fraud. A charlatan. Here's what she hid:
Not poor at all, you'll never guess
Swanned off on a trip of a lifetime down under
Some of us can only dream"

So dream. Dream on
I have a dream
where every human is equal, is given stature
Hasn't bought it, put it on the card
paraded it, proved it at the school gate
Behind those designer-look NHS glasses
and bargain clothes lay prized skills and
a fighting heart
that will not
stay down

(c) HC Hunter