The Poor Also Laugh


In a canoe, we rode
Beyond the hustle and hustle and hustle of civilization
With rushed meals packed in bags, we strode in our Adidas and perms to the basement of our time
Wearing privilege on our sleeves, we hit the forgotten sewers sharing used clothes and worn out shoes to beings so poor our dirt is their luxury,
Giving nothing but a hope that would fade with our footsteps.

But, beyond the desperation in their eyes for the treats in our bags, there was joy
An unrehearsed display of happiness
One not because we were there, but because they knew how to be happy
In their dump/heat/no television/ mosquito infested/ sick zone
They still knew how to smile and laugh, and laugh they did
At the tales of their fathers in prison, they laughed
For the stones in their meals, they laughed
At the village drunkard doing his dance, they laughed

As they rolled tires or kicked old balls between drawn goal posts or played tennis with wood, or gossiped in groups or took palm wine, they laughed out loud
Not as a ploy for hope or a false show of strength,
But because they lived
And for as long as they did, both good times and bad times was theirs for the living
Life, love, and dreams are given to us all – rich or poor
And even the poor laugh
Just as hard as the rich cry.

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Ejiro Lawretta Egba is a young chartered accountant and writer from Nigeria. She holds a degree in Accounting and is a qualified member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria. She is currently a Financial Analyst for a private equity firm in Nigeria, a ghost writer, and a writer/contributor for a number of websites and platforms, both home and abroad. With an immense passion for knowledge acquisition, she seeks to contribute her own quota to the African community and beyond. For info and inquiries, contact via:


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