You've grown comfortable
Over the centuries, Poverty—over
Huddled throngs of sufferers
Working thin, dying empty.
How long will men and women
Remain so unaware? We scurry
Between parcels, paperwork, and townships;
You roost unconcerned, your
Nest egg far beyond our frantic hands.
Your machine runs on our fear of lack:
One marionette takes from fifty others,
Worry tethering him to your fancy.
His careful exploitation keeps you
Fat and happy.
You perch, blubber oozing on all sides,
On a tin stool behind a tattered shower curtain,
Thumbing buttons to keep us afraid,
Beguiling us with tall economic tales.
You are wealth's cheap counterfeit:
Ozymandias' empty boasts,
Oz's wimpy wizard--
It won't be guns or funds
That finally end you.
One day the King of Glory will
Melt the callouses from our eyes.
When we see what we've done,
and what you are, o Poverty,
Our hands will drive His Truth
Deep into your bloated gut.
You'll fall off your tin throne,
And no one will see; no one will care.
We'll be too awestruck,
Dumbstruck at the real thing
To note the end of a fraud.
Mike & Chandra Noviskie,
missionaries to South Africa
CCF Missions is a ministry of Christian City Fellowship.