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Reflective Piece

Poem: The Chains of Poverty

Dilapidated houses all around the slum
Cracked roads, overflowing and rancid tenches
Polluted air filled with the stench of poverty
Persons waiting for a saviour to free them from the shackles of poverty
As their depression and physical state worsened

This was a common sight where I lived

The thought of people’s lifestyle here always plagued my mind for decades
A gruesome picture painted my mind each and every time as my thoughts suppressed
I always asked myself,’’When will the curse of poverty on our society come to an end’’?
As I grew older, nothing changed
I knew we would be stuck here forever

Early mornings as the cock crowed and the sun shone into the children’s bedrooms
Instead, of being a day filled with euphoria
They often asked their siblings,’’Ah weh de next morsel ah come from’’?
Their siblings with a look of sadness, bewildered
As if there was ever going to be an answer to that question
The children lived in that plight, day after day
Until their minds had been accustomed to it

Whereas the rich lived in luxury, as soon as they awoke,

They prepared their breakfast in their fancy silverware and ate heartily with their cutlery
They had no reason to have a care in this world,
As life for them was easy
Their needs had been met
I’m sure they never understood the struggle of being poor
While the children cried for a morsel of bread to eat, to their dejected mother
They ran, ‘’Ma, please abe some food fuh eat’’, Abe hungry since las night’’
Sadly, their poor mother had nothing to give them.
She wept at the situation she and her children were subjected to live in,
She knew change never came and never will

The children’s stomachs gnawed for hunger,

As their frail little bodies diminished in size
They had white pieces of skin attached to their mouths every day
‘’Poor children! Oh! How they longed for some food, but as usual nothing was there’’
Every day was a struggle for them, they hoped things would get better
But it never did.
They were in the same plight ten years ago
Nothing ever changed.

Every day as soon as their mom got up, they asked her the same question,
‘’Ma, wen abe gon get propah food fuh eat? Ah fed up ah dis life,
Every day ah hungry, nothin’ changin’.
Their poor mother wished she could’ve helped her children
But she was in the same plight as them

She often told them’’ listen chirren me maself deh in poverty

Ah does barely get lil money from wuk fo run dis house,
Since ayo fada lef abe,abe aint really gettin’ any money’’
‘’Ah tellin’ ayo pon now,ayo tek yall education.
Mek yo self somebody propah in society,
So ayo ain’t gotto live like how abe livin now’’
Whenever Mama said that to them, the thought of a better life shone in their eyes,
As they rushed hungry but determined to school
Hopefully, one day they would be better off than Mama.
Mama wanted the best for her children
She just couldn’t give them an ideal life right now
And on they went, unbathed bodies, uncombed hair
Dirty socks, ragged shoes, soiled uniforms
But, with a scintillating determination
To strive for a better life for themselves

At school, the children were scorned, mocked and everyone shun them
Because they were poor black kids, who couldn’t afford anything
Everyone had the fanciest shoes or backpack or even lunch
While they had nothing. Sometimes they even cried,
When they thought about the financial situation they were in
Still, they took in their education,
Just like Mama had told them to.

As soon as school finished, they quickly rushed home,

Was anything ever going to change?
Their lives were ones filled with melancholy and despair
As a grim outlook painted their future

Unlike the affluent who had privileged childhoods,

Living in comfort and luxury, these boys had nothing much
Not even a proper morsel to keep them up at nights while they studied.
Every afternoon they would talk to Mama, they asked her the same question every day
She always responded, in the same way, every time
Still, they asked, hoping for a different answer
They asked,’’ Mama, is wah de government doin?’’
‘’Dem na suppose fe mek life better fuh abe?
‘’All dese years an abe still ah live in poverty?’’
‘’Is wa really happenin to dis country’’
Mama said,’’Son dem ah only study demself, ah lot ah corruption goin on in there’’
‘’Dem ah live de rich life, while abe out here strugglin’ fuh piece bread fuh touch abe tongue’’

‘’Year start, year done ,same nonsense dis government deh pon’’
‘’Dem ain’t even tryin fo mek people life better
‘’Dem only studyin’ demself ’’
Poverty is about not having enough money to meet basic needs including food, clothing, and
shelter. The World Bank Organization describes poverty in this way: “Poverty is
hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. For
my reflective piece, the researcher has composed a poem entitled,’’ The Chains of Poverty’’. I
chose this genre because I truly believe it is an interactive way to propose my theme in an
effective manner. The purpose of my reflective piece is to lucidly highlight the effects of poverty
on residents in the Ogle community. In the researcher's community, every day she observes this
problem and feels drastic actions should be implemented to assist those in need. This purpose
needs to be properly portrayed, as the researcher feels there are a lot of persons who are
struggling through poverty in Guyana, on a day-to-day basis, and nothing really is actually done
to remedy this persistent problem.

The researcher’s intended audience of this reflective piece is the Government of Guyana. She
feels that they are the most appropriate category of persons who need to know what the persons
of the Ogle community are going through. The Government are the ones who are leading
Guyana, thus it is their task to make citizens’ lives better in their country.

In context, this poem can be used in the newspapers, magazines or even on social media to
address the problems that persons face currently in Guyana.
In this section, the researcher seeks to analyze her poem entitled,’’ The Chains of Poverty’’. This
poem chronicles the hardships that a mother and her two sons face on a daily basis, as a result of
poverty. This piece analyzes the communicative behaviours and dialectal variation portrayed in
the poem.

Communicative behaviours were indicated amongst characters in the way how they felt at their
present financial situation. From the beginning of the poem, we see a description of the
surroundings in which Mama and her two sons were living in. It can be described as disgusting
and rancid. These living situations brought about the feeling that the characters in this poem were
frustrated at their current living environment.From stanza one we see the characters’ physical
and emotional state worsening, as the shackles of poverty encaptured them. Further down in the
poem, we see that Mama’s sons were filled with sadness, as they didn’t know where the next
meal was coming from. Also, they’re frustrated at the financial plight that they are currently
living in. Moreover, we see the feeling of concern blooming out in the poem, as they often asked
Mama where their next meal was coming from. Mama herself was saddened, as she had to watch
her boys go through this plight for the last ten years, knowing that their father had left them years
ago and she being the sole breadwinner for the family, could not provide for her two sons’ basic
needs. That caused despair and hopelessness to run through the boys’ minds on a day-to-day

Now, the second element to be analyzed is the use of dialectal variation throughout the
poem,’’The Chains of Poverty’’. The setting of this poem is taking place at a rural community in
the countryside. In the towns, where probably standard English would be spoken. Here we see
Creole, being the main language of the characters, dominating the poem. Creole was spoken by
each character in the poem, as that is the language that they are accustomed to speaking. Creole
clearly assists in bringing out the struggle that this family is going through at the present
moment. From line to line,we notice them conversating in a very raw and straightforward tone
which highlights clearly what they want to communicate to each other. At at the same time,
allowing them to express themselves in their way of line.