Treasure Island

samuel nze

(13th October 1980 / lagos, nigeria)

Poverty is not a Calling


Poverty is not a calling,
Even if the priests think it is.
Poverty is a distraction,
The intellectual must think it so.

Think of the books you could have bought
Had you had money,
Or the food you may have eaten
In a posh hotel.

You soak garri in water
And wipe your mouth,
Then put on a fine shirt
So no one will know.

You are a lie - you know you want more;
Chicken dipped in sauce
And maybe some wine too,
But you cannot afford it.

You are ill
And so run to the chemist;
No doctor for you,
A card is three hundred naira.

Pain killers, multivitamins and blood capsules,
You will still have change;
Why then bother with the syringe
Or the bespectacled grave face?

You see?
Poverty denies you the good life;
You cannot do what
Your seeming betters do.

You discover it is a sad state,
Poverty is not a calling;
We both know that,
Even if we pretend not to.

Submitted: Thursday, May 19, 2005
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