Jul 22, 2012

Poverty's Shoes: The Future



A Native

what is "planning for the future?"
plans for later in the day
that fill Poverty's minds:
hoping it don't snow
til Christmas time
when this group or that
gives out the coats, the boots, the hats,
making like "for free's" all that

after the first I'll find a job
full time and with bennies
so I can get a car
and pay for the insurance
I'll have to learn to drive again
hope my ex is working swing shift

people look at us so weird
when we get out of cabs
as if it's choice, instead it's fear
of not getting anywhere
and getting up a little cash
to go here or there
is the best done
without the option of a car 

walking my girl to the bus
other project kids tag along
or come early to the door
so I tell 'em, "I can't feedja!"

"you gotta read the labels"
easy for you to say
my girl is stealing candy
and my step-son ran away

even if the kids
 weren't driving me insane
I don't know what the words mean-
chemicals that eat the brain?
the prints so stupid small
and I can't get new glasses
until next fall 

they say we've all been eating 
pink slime for a long time,
since it hasn't killed me yet-
can't say it's a big worry of mine



An Immigrant

It wears you down in a few short years,
knowing your life will never improve;
no airplane trips to other lands
forget about a concert!
You'll never see your heroes,
or go to big events-
 even if you had the clothes,
you'd be short on the rent.

Never see a famous building
or a bridge or street,
having no interest in more and more "never's,
you step out of mainstream cultural identity.

Growing up without a bike,
except when you can steal
and leave it when you get there,
grab another when you leave
how you build a "coop"
the mother of cool green

Don't know anyone with a vacuum,
keep your mother's sweeper.
is there help for your teenage son
who still pees everything he sleeps on.

 filter quarters from your change
hold for the washer/dryer
if neighbors try to borrow
just give three for a dollar
or you won't have 'em 
when you need 'em
 just like the others up the hallway