There’s no such thing as charity.
That’s all you should know by now.
It doesn’t matter what you do if
Someone else could ruin it.
Fade that villain into the back of your mind, and focus on
The smiles with names you read and recognize as that people,
The poor people from two worlds away, the helpless souls that
you have a responsibility (as an activist, a good person, a god) to save.
Crushed under the heel of evil development, in Africa or Asia or some other.
Today, it is “India.”
The crops are well-tended, but the farmers are malnourished by their sparsity
and starving in the greasepit of industry. They are
Finding it difficult to smile in the streets, at customers who clutch their wages tight
and falling short of payment, praying on brick and sinking through
convinced that dreams were probably not to be followed anyway.
helpless and in need.
They are in need of a mere pass of money, the secret to open the door.
With borrowed strength could they rise, those snakes
in the dirt, consume each other and become
Ouroboros, who has no need for sustenance.
It is a generation of wealth donated to the generation in poverty.
To lend is to save, to give a chance.
It is life and love and the American dream
Pressed into the soil of India.
For that man to sell fruit, that woman to make clothes, you to lend your power
And wonder at Icarus flying on borrowed wings of green.
This is the charity you seek.
Your gift won’t be so selfishly abused, because it is yours.
Not just money, but the possibility for more. It’s hope and economic stimulation, because
you’re an intelligent savior who believes in human resourcefulness.
(From the good ones, of course.)
There is no charity, but there is hope, and whatever nonsense comes afterward.
This is the future, running with the kite
And wishing for the wind.
(This poem is about microfinance, a system of lending small amounts of money to the poor. This page has more information on its function.)