Poverty Reflects Our Hearts

Stick figures
Sad sacks
Faces looming up to car windows
When least expected
Nor wanted…
Barefoot, dirty children:
Why can’t they clean up?
What are their parents doing
Letting them run around like that
In the cold?

Car heater full blast
Gasoline just another easy expense
Making things tense as the price soars…
Coats and hats and breakfast in bed
(It happens…on occassion…)
Sometimes we save a kitten on the side of the road
Always try to remember to vote
Dark shadows in alleys
A hand, suddenly, thrust out and shaking,
“Hey…You gotta a dollar?”
Sense of annoyance
Until everyone cast aside: invisible
To the working class eye

This DNA is all the same
Housed in different shells:
Pinks, browns, yellows, reds.
Paper houses, cement beds
Rats stir, bellies unfed
Teens with gasoline and fire
Wrap you in the pain
Bleeding skin’s razor wire

Keep looking ahead:
He’ll go away
She’ll find someone else
To help her
Out today
Why should I bother?
Why is it always my responsibility?
Don’t I pay my taxes?
Don’t I have a job?
Why can’t they get a job?
What’s wrong with them?

Our hearts are mirrors
I see you, you see me
We create what we want to see
Stop, now…breathe…
Who is standing there
But a part of us all
Lost, forlorn, yes, maybe
Wouldn’t you be driven mad
From no attention whatsoever?
The connection we ALL are needing?
Being relegated to less than
That kitten from
Three paragraphs ago….
Less than the rubber
On the bottom of your shoes
That stepped in shit
And as it oozes
Made you say,
“F*** it!”

There is no less than
In the reflection of the heart.
Only a mirror
Waiting to be wiped clean
Of the weight of society’s
Relentless giving up
On others.
Waiting to show
Show us all
That there is something bigger
Waiting to be healed
And connected.

Sara Hickman
8:14 a.m.

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