Newspapers

Daddy is drinking again. Mama is too. 

Sister and brother, too little to understand. I'm eight, aren't I little, too?

Hard ground, river roaring as daddy is snoring. 

When do we sleep in a house with a real bed?

Newspapers stolen from front lawns to be sold for money. 

People staring as if I did something wrong.

I'm hungry. My sister and brother are, too. 

Selling newspapers aren't too bad if it helps put food on our rock table.

I see my friend going into her big house wearing a new coat, it's winter time. 

I go home to a fire by the river and a cast iron skillet for anything we catch. 

Daddy is gone, mama is drinking. 

Who knows if he returns. 

Fast forward 9 years later. River is roaring, daddy is gone, mama is drinking. 

Sister and brother still hungry as ever. 

Newspapers don't exist to sell. What now?

Jobs, real jobs.

Old enough to work. Serving day and night. 

Apartment now. For mama, sister and brother. 

Warmth fills the air in cold winter months. 

Mama is dead, fire is blazing, adulthood is here.  

This poem is about: 
Me
My family

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