That Kind of Poor

 

We are that kind of poor
that never really realizes how poor we are

only that the bank account hovers more treacherously close to 0
in the days leading up to payday

sometimes it occurs to us that
maybe not everybody has the lights turned off
sometimes
because they’re over a month behind and can never time
that three-paycheck month just right to finally catch up

or that not everyone considers more than $50 for groceries
extravagant
or clips
coupon
after
coupon
that never feel like they actually help
all that much

or feels grateful that $11 an hour with two college degrees
is the best pay they’ve ever gotten
so what if the insurance is too expensive to afford
it’s available, at least

making too much money to get food stamps
and too little to do anything but juggle the bills and pray
working longer hours and more odd jobs than we ever expected
but never thinking it’s all that strange because

everyone we know
is right here with us

sinking
day
by
d
a
y
.

Allie Marini Batts

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