Posted in Poems

Lessons learned

I learned the stigma of being poor.
People didn’t see me; they saw past me.
I felt faceless, I felt nameless.
I learned not to show my hurt.

They couldn’t see beyond the patches.
Of worn out shoes; threadbare clothes.
Of hunger pangs and lack of energy.
In their eyes I saw no compassion.

My first day in primary one.
I had no uniform nor schoolbag.
I saw the teacher look me up and down.
And I lost my self-confidence.

Being judged for my shabby clothes.
I learned that day what meanness was.
I saw much more of this than kindness.
I saw the double standards of people.

High school was much better.
I still had shabby clothes.
But my schoolmates didn’t shun me.
I was not faceless, I was not nameless,

Through my childhood I had hand-me-downs.
Such kindness I appreciated.
Yet, I dreaded meeting these donors.
For I had to thank them each time.

I felt the embarrassment ten times.
To be reminded so often to my face.
My pride was torn and shattered.
I learned the stigma of being poor.

By C.E. Pereira



I'm a Eurasian of Portuguese, English, Scottish and Malay heritage. And my extended family are of Chinese and Indian heritage. In recent years, the younger generation have added on to include spouses from the Philippines, Nigeria and Russia. My world is made up of different colours like the rainbow. And like the rainbow I am unique. Reading is my form of relaxation, to escape from the drudgery of daily life and enter into a world of the imagination. It is the love of reading that has led me to try my hand in writing short stories and poems. I hope that in some way my stories and poems will take you for a little while away from the drudgery of the present into the pages of imagination. To new friends found, I bid you, Welcome. Sincerely, C.E. Pereira

2 thoughts on “Lessons learned

    1. It was only during my childhood days. In a way it made me strong and taught me to show kindness and give without strings attached.


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