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Is This Woman Rich or Poor?

What side of the lens are you on?
Is this woman poor or rich?
You can see from the photograph
That her clothes are tightly woven
And covered in beautiful detailes,
There is embroidery and
Each flower is designed with her in mind.
Her jewelry is heavy, and abundant,
With gold, gems and silvers.
But we are taught that she is poor.
We are told that she needs help- charity-
And we must donate to
Missionaries
To carry out acts of great mercy
She does not realize she is poor
That her sandles are unfashionable
And that in the morning when her breasts
Swing like hemp ropes
That if she walks into the morning sun
That she is degraded
And helplessly backwards.
She needs god.
When the photographs
Are published in the nationalism
Of geography magazine
You will cluck your tongue and say poor thing
She is so poor
Her kids are dying of dysentery
And diarrhea
Something that we could treat here in America
As we hand our children
Over to autism
And chemotherapy
She really has no idea how poor you are.
She only sees the pictures
Of the nation from the geographic magazine
That the white male photographer
Pulls from the hidden
Spot inside his pants
Such a small bulge
To hand to her.
She loves the photographs
The surveyors with their squeamish ways
Who pour bleach on everything
And talk incessantly about germs.
She wonders if they are Germ-ans
But no, they say they are Americans
This nationalist geographic magazine man
Who takes pictures of her crooked smile
And her old sun caressed skin

She hears rumors of people who stay inside
All day working
Who fear the sun
And all day working
Get nothing done.
This land of opportunity
Of strange merciful gods
Who must have oil and diamonds
To fill their crofts
And she wonders
If this woman
Little jewelry,
With pale gold and empty silver
Is really as rich as she thinks she is?
To get her gold
To take her diamonds
To take her oil
She must believe in God.
She must hand over her children
She must forfeit her jewelry
She must not sew beautiful flowers
She must die.
There patents on drugs
On vitamins
On fields of vegetables
On the animals that run
On the trees that grow
And each thing must have a patent tax
And each time she plants the corn
Or that she herds the cows
And walks into the sun
She must pay the patent
Until they say
This patent is too expensive for you to live?
Are you rich enough now?
She thinks.