Oh poverty, you are swelling in so many bosoms now,
Like a heart thirsting for blood.
Like a black tear you are creeping into this rainy night
To cloak so many people in black.
When the copper bell tolls in the belfry,
You will be at the head of the funeral procession,
Like a judge to many prayers;
When many a silent tear is born,
You will tend to sorrow with your silence;
When death wants to put on its elegant black suit,
You will be its tailor;
When many children wake up in the jaws of horrible hunger,
You will be close again.
You can be unjust, unforgiving, and powerful
Like a ruler.
Like Pontius Pilate,
You are nailing your sad brothers and sisters to all sides of the world
To the cross of life.
When many tongues melt into a single terrible echo
In the east, west, north and south,
Like the curse of the tower of Babylon,
You are putting a new nail into the bloody palms
Of your brothers and sisters.
Many roses will spring beneath the cross of life,
And each will be nourished by a new black tear.
Oh poverty, there is me inside you,
There is you inside me,
And it is terrible to know
That you are mankind's child.
©Walter William Safar