(Photo by Ariel Poster: Women tend trees with the Green Belt Movement in Kenya)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Small Fortunes

I found out how to save the world! And I’m living it!

“Lend the women money”- four small words-

and it’s like you’ve set off fireworks.

Don’t pity her, don’t save her life, just lend her money!

Fifty to a hundred bucks and in India, Kenya, Peru,

she- lo and behold!- gets to use her brain,

her desire, her love, her responsibility,

and creates a life for herself and her children.

Dolores carefully arranges bouquets while the baby swings

in a rope hammock nearby.

Now Sadana’s idea- would you have known?

Send all the children out to collect fallen hair

from their mother’s brushes-

enough hair and oil to support four women,

weighing each hair on a hand-held scale,

the picture of Justice herself.

Maketa in Kenya needs a new boat

because, from the fingerlings, she has branched out to big cucumber fish.

Come back in a year, and they look you in the eye,

no one beats them, they hire and pay their husbands,

they send their kids to school.

And I’ve lived it! I know this is me, I know that we shape our lives

to better our children, “I know what the people want”,as she says,

sewing handbags from colorful juice boxes in the Philippines,

her feet pedaling, pedaling on the old sewing machine, just like Grossmutter’s.

Fifty to a hundred bucks, I know, I know, I know,

this is my life, I’m there too,

and isn’t it simple, isn’t it us,

isn’t it all of us?

Annelinde Metzner copyright October 2005

(photo from in Bali)

Also see the video "Weaving Dreams" at

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