The Kool-Aid, Although Tasty...Was Never Free

Can you excuse a tendency I have,
To be direct, thoughtless and somewhat abusive?
I grew up reminded I was dysfunctionally deprived.
Although encouraged to dream,
And master the art of discipline.
I was not allowed to feel sorry for myself,
Until I got older to realize how poor we were.
But we dressed to impress and remained stylish.
And sought to be cute.
You know how 'some' kids do?
I was never sold on having what I couldn't have.
My sisters and I were taught to be grateful.
And to eat a sandwich somebody first had to earn it.
If it seems as if I can be direct, thoughtless
And somewhat abusive...
I have memories of earning many sandwiches.
But I didn't realize that the meat was extra.
So was the lettuce and tomato.
Mayo too!
And the kool-aid, although tasty...
Was never free.

by Lawrence S. Pertillar

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