Nov 29, 2013

What You Might not Know...

if y'all like travelin' like me
let's be fellow travellers - 
and view from the pov
as interesting, culturally,
this land called Poverty

I moved here, involuntarily,
from a land-much-more-Entitled;
customs, habits, necessities
must be learned by the such-as-me's
for both interest and
improved survival

we've all visited here, I expect
if only for a few days
like if, you, uncharacteristically,
let's just say,  bounced a check
just before a holiday -
(can I get a white-folks "A-men?")

first, you cover damage
to the best you can
or you skip that in favor of
toilet paper, food and

 if you normally seek
the best deal for your buck,
you're out of luck -
you can't save money
even momentarily
if you're in Poverty

maybe you can call in a loan
or a favor you are owed
but you'll have to admit
your circumstances,
perhaps even justify 'em
and still fail,
 based on their judgment
of your tale

w/o gas, you gotta shop
 what's nearby home and open -
make do with the one roll,
forgo quarters? clothes stay dirty.
you have oatmeal for breakfast
and to feed the dog,
get the smallest box
of milk, condensed
 (use cold water
 shake it up, it'll taste better)
what the hell,
it's not a choice

too bad for the birds
 in the cold outside,
waiting to be fed -
they'll have to wait til next week
when you'll get a check
but you still wish you could explain
for the bird's sake

you won't be bringing anything
to your friend's family feast -
there's another explanation
 made with shame of what you speak;
or you just won't show up
to avoid that truth
prefer their concluding
you're a creep
(rather than broke)

you bought a bottle 
of discounted wine
to comfort you against
 four days ahead -
  you hunker down; 
not answering the phone,
you tweet instead -
 because on Twitter
you're not alone

and, if you're more unfortunate
and are strung out,
 dealers suspect and show up
with credit and escape.

imagine these, your circumstances
every day, year of your life
and your mother's too, and
what she taught you to deal with strife.

And - this is important -
you don't complain
or even feel sorry for yourself
or blame
anyone else except yourself
for making the mistakes
that are your inheritance
and will be,  your estate

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