The Dogs

A dog named Hunger gnaws on my stomach

Growls at me whenever I cannot eat

Demands my attention while I’m in class

He has a sister who lives in my mind

Her name is Anxiety

While she does not bite me

She barks sometimes when I least expect it

Most days she is fine and easy to manage

Yet when you only have a dollar left

And you’re still trying to pay the rent

While studying how cameras work

And learning Ginsberg’s Howl

You just hope that the dog Depression

Does not decide to wake from slumber

While Hunger and Anxiety can be ignored

Depression will not be denied

He doesn’t just bark or bite

He is a wolf that must be tamed

Praying he doesn’t break his chain

Or he will cloud you with shame

That you are not good enough.

Despite the grades you make

The hours you work to stay afloat

You know that if you succumb

You may fall in the abyss

Stricken mute by the sum

Of all the turmoil that comes

Standing before the doors of their father

Whom I have come to call Poverty

While walking the fine line

Between freedom and ruin.

It is a battle you know you must win

And despite the help you may receive

With these dogs hunting me

It’s no wonder

Why one must learn to survive.


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