by Ibtisam Barakat
When I was a girl in a poor family
we hung our clothes to dry on the povertyline,
and with it I jumped rope.
My friends saw and joined me.
We were hoping to learn to jump over
endless obstacles and walls . . .
Our poverty line was generous and plentiful,
it ran from house to house like telephone wiring
made of rich gossip.
And like magic, when it was cut,
So everyone found good ways to use it:
I snipped a piece of it for my pony tail,
the pony that took me to many places
but not far away because it got hungry and
I had no extra food for it.
On the main holidays
we tugged the poverty line as an argument
with our neighbors
who had a bit more money than us.
On summer days, the line turned into a street
that we marched with our “holey” shoes,
filled as coin purses,
with street pebbles of the holy land.
At times when things were dark as kohl
I used the poverty line for an eyeliner
and could see that many people
were poorer than me:
their line was so long,
it could reach future generations,
if someone does not write something rich,
with hope, on it . . .
Last updated June 28, 2015