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Twelve Years

When I was five I wanted to be a teacher,
I wanted the world,
I didn’t do anything
but run around all  day
 
When I was six I wanted a house.
Mum said “Abeba we have one”
I looked around,
all we had were walls.
 
When I was seven I wanted a Job.
I wanted to help my mother.
She worked all day
and barely got a cent.
 
When I was eight
Mum lost her job
she was having a baby
I always wanted a sibling
 
When I was nine we had no money.
Father was gone all the time
so I sat at the door all day,
starving waiting for tomorrow.
 
When I was ten I stopped going to school.
I got a job cleaning houses.
I was sore all the time
but I didn’t care, I was helping.
 
When I was eleven my sister died.
She was only three,
and there was never enough food
she starved like many other.
 
When I was twelve I became sick
Mother said it was Malaria
no one comes back from that
not here anyway.
 
When I was twelve I was dead.
I left my mother alone,
with no one to look after her.
I fear she may soon join me.

(2013)

Poverty

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