we stayed awake

I want to share this poem I found on the blog bathrobetransmissions. I thought it beautifully expressed the schizophrenic feeling of being on food stamps. My thanks to the author.


It could have been any nighttime

anywhere, but

it wasn’t.

It could have been any season, in any

midwestern midsized town, but

it wasn’t.

We should have been sleeping,

we’re both so responsible.

We were giddy, though.

We stayed awake talking

about food,

provoked over plenty,

like third world refugees;

we hailed from the towards-the-bottom portion

of discount dented groceries and fruit about to over-ripen.

Two too-idealistic not-kids

giddy, sleep foregoing

making spectacles of our responsibility

while we giggled and plotted

at the newly accessible grocer’s shelves.

Our eyes lustrous in the dark,

we conspired to dream

of pastrami and provolone,

of plums, kumquats, and radicchio,

lasagna with fresh mozzarella,

and being well-fed.

The U.S. government can placate us poor so easily with food stamps.

We have so much. Why does this break my heart?

December 7, 2011

revised January 27, 2012

via we stayed awake.