She knew nothing of the poverty
her parents suffered. She did not
know the meaning of the hungry
stomach she often experienced.
Yet, she did know that her stomach
often hurt, which she only expressed
through crying, or irritability,
which her parents often attributed
to her being a disobedient child,
wherein she was sent to her room,
where her hunger increased.
As she grew and was sent to school,
she began to notice the difference
in her appearance as opposed to others.
The dirt under her fingernails, the unkempt hair,
the wrinkled clothes, and the only time
her stomach did not hurt was through
the school breakfast and lunches.
This was the beginning of her
understanding of poverty;
poverty in The United States of America.
As she grew she saw that her
parents were both unemployed
and that her mother never finished
high school and that they used food stamps.
Often embarrassed at the grocery store
when her mother would pull out the
wadded bills from the government,
she sheepishly would look at the floor,
hoping none of her school mates were around,
and she was relieved when they
left the store and arrived in the safety of her home.
She often went to bed with
her stomach hurting painfully,
as sometimes there just was not
enough food for dinner and
she would curl up in a ball and go
So, it was with her until she was grown
and had children of her own, she
promised herself they would never go
Unlike her mother she finished high school,
and married a working man, so
she was able to provide meals
for her children so they never
Looking back on her childhood, she
knew why she had painful stomachs.
She realized then that
the government only allowed her
parents a certain amount of food stamps
per month and they usually would run out
of them at the end of the month.
She also recognized her parents’
inability to benefit from other
food programs. She often
wondered why they never took
advantage of that and then she
thought of the several times her
parents had no car, or the car they
had often did not run, and they had
to rely on the grace of neighbors and friends.
She figured her parents did not want
to ask them to assist with yet
another burden of supplying food for their children.
She often thought of how others still suffer
in 2008 in The United States of America,
the richest land in the world, and how, even
though government agencies reach out
to the thousands of homes just
like hers growing up, there needed to be an increase
in the food stamp program.
She often thought of the thousands
of children coming home from
school not having snacks to eat,
or juice to drink, or to be lucky enough
to have supper every night.
She thought of the thousands of children
who had pains in their stomachs which
might often turn into psychological pain in them
adulthood, as she still suffered with pains
in her stomach even though she had
plenty of food. She did not realize the
psychological dependence food had
on the developing child emotionally,
and the impact into adulthood.
Then she was angered at the government
for not supplying enough food
stamps to feed the children of
The United States of America.
Justice for the innocent
A Poem – Lorraine