On Being (Almost) Poor

Poem By Charlotte Ballard

No social worker
Weeps violet tears
As a cop bashes in
My door, looking for
Dope and drugs or a
Flea-bitten child
Crying for milk
Sitting cock-eyed
In a puddle of piss
And tears.
No special plays
For welfare money
Or donations by
Kind-hearted avoiders
Of the whole situation.
'If I just don't have to
Touch them...'
One of the stacks of
Final notice and Urgent
Stamped threats
Of sure destruction
Tumble and spill
Over the carpet, precisely
Kept by pinching fingers-
Thin, boney things.
One purple bruise darkens
Around the child's right eye,
A doll cradled,
Left alone, once more.

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