Colleen S. Harris

Reclaiming Poverty

Poverty is
a rich man’s word
fancy and proud
a seven-letter trumpet
those who live it know
it’s a five-letter
whip-crack word
where the sense
ain’t lost in syllables

it’s trash and broke
smack and crack
heavy, shame,
death and anger
it’s gangs, dirty,
bitch, blade and whore
and all the hate you can pack
into five letters

some days
when we can’t afford even that
we trim it down
we take your poverty and fit it
to our four-letter budget
it becomes mine
and ours
and hurt
and home


Return to Volume 3.3






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