Friday, January 6, 2012

Food Stamps

that mother with the three kids
and the food stamps
didn't ask her husband to leave
when her
daughter was only three
months old
so I really don't appreciate
you thinking you have any right
to scold her

and when she applied for 6 jobs this week
because she's worked so hard for her degree
and they seemed impressed except
they think it's best if she starts on overnights
and weekends
       so that her kids can
       ache for their father
and now their mother too
        and so that she can pay
more than her wages
       for childcare
that she cannot find
       in a world that works from five to nine
I'm pretty sure I'd like to slap
anyone who scoffs at her for turning down
that great 'opportunity'

you think that because you can choose how to spend your days and dollars
that she has the same choice right?
except that since he left, she's been in a house that she can't pay for
with a landlord knocking on the door
and no money or credibility for a deposit
            elsewhere (
            Aston Martin tires squeal loudly in the background here)
The phones been turned off
buzzards fly overhead
making sure she stays in debt
by charging
sky-rocket interest
and locking the doors
on a car loan
that will keep her
off the roadside
her freezing children
and their thin coats

grandpa scraped up change to buy them

So as she stands there,
trembling hands
with food stamps
barely able to glance at you...

it is           You
who is
Ugly and
eyeballing the ice cream in her cart
as if her kids should ever have to suffer
even more than
than your indignant eyes

1 comment:

  1. This modern inequity is beautifully captured in your fighting words.