<- Back to main page

Ego Sum Pauper

by Ruth Holzer


Plump in navy velveteen

and lace, Miss Murdoch

trilled, I am poor


to us slum dwellers, 

and we sang after her, piping

up the scale and down again,


the canon of all children, nihil habeo,

I have nothing. It was true then,

for what did we have?


Cowering in our small spaces,

we hung upon the whims

of others to survive.


Et nihil dabo.

That came true later:

and nothing will I give.