The poverty of choice

Stories and News No. 1056
  
My name is Kaimah, I'm ten years old and I'm poor.
I didn’t choose it, as I didn’t decide to come into this world.
I cannot do anything about it and I will do nothing with what doesn’t depend on me.
I have no time to waste with what I cannot change.
The World Health Organization and the World Bank declared yesterday that almost one hundred million people in the world are forced every year to daily choose between health and food, education and basic necessities.
For the rest of humanity, a hundred is just a number, as well as a million times as much.
Greatness doesn’t matter, unless it’s one and that one is you.
In this case, I choose, each day, each week.
Monday I ate, yes, I had to, I couldn’t help it.
A little and with joy, with extreme calm and attention to every crumb that could run away.
I love you, tiny piece of edible life.
Don’t leave me, stay with me, in me.
You’ll see that I won’t waste every gift from you.
And I’ll know how to appreciate the memory.
I’ll be faithful to you, I won’t fail to pay tribute and respect, and you come back, please.
Come back soon.
Tuesday empty stomach, it’s the day of fever.
The enemy in the head that is always present.
No, it's not fear, that's your stuff.
The forehead simmers and the sweat imperfects the temples making the skin shine and highlights my eyes.
Life, that’s what my pupils scream, we want life, we deserve it, we demand it and we’ll do our best to stay close to it.
Come on, dear medicine that rained from the sky, defeat the monster that gives heat in exchange for precious strength, and forgive me too, infamous presence, I don’t hate you.
You too, fever, have received a bad fate and you cannot avoid it.
Go, now, free my body.
I know you'll come back, but I hope as late as possible.
Wednesday and you're already here, dear damn fellow, as well as hunger, but today is the moment of study.
A book, only one a year, worn pages, lessons devoured as stanzas of a poem of absolute love.
It’s you, master words, my ticket to the future, my wings of wisdom and ambition which to fantasize with about the best tomorrow.
Thursday everybody stop, since water is in the house.
It’s a dream that becomes liquid, the true natural miracle, an eternal birthday gift for a party that we’ll regret all sooner or later.
From that moment on, we began to breathe and vibrate.
“And water was,” this is the true sentence, but it wasn’t understood and as usual we exchanged the reflection of ourselves for an immortal star.
Friday is the day of work, the seeds are here, the earth waits, we do with her.
And when the hands are tired, the fingers felt by the scratches and the back aching, I lift my head up and close my eyes.
I see the promise and I trust the sound of the wind.
Sooner or later the fruit will show itself to us and we‘ll have what belongs to us.
We cannot have felt so much for nothing, and if this is what fate wanted, let it go to the devil too.
Saturday with hunger and fever, nothing to read and the thirst that bites, the sack of seeds without seeds and nothing beautiful to expect the day after.
Think of it now, when you open your eyes on a day like this and you will complain of boredom or simple loneliness.
Think about it and look at me, because on Saturday I will play anyway.
Because I've come this far and I deserve to smile.
Yet, to contradict what has been said so far, Sunday the body yields, the soul too, and I am there, motionless in my bed.
No, I tell myself, I cannot do it again.
Then my mother arrives, she puts a hand on my face and calls me with her velvety voice.
I lift the eyelids with deliberate slowness, and I see myself in her eyes that have lived the same fate.
I am the promise, I am the choice, hers.
My name is Kaimah, I'm only ten years old and I know, I've been condemned to poverty.
Between food and health, study and other essentials of living, here’s the poverty of choice.
But I don’t choose poverty.
I decided that when I grow up.
I’ll be alive...


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