Sunday, October 7, 2018


I Don't Write Political Poems

We fed our kids
fish sticks
and we ate corn dogs
We knew it was poison

Sometimes we didn't eat

My mother fed me fat noodles
in watered-down tomato sauce
covered in spices from a plastic bottle

After three or four days
I imagined them worms
writhing in blood

In sixth grade
I had a cough for six months
but my only doctor trip
was for scabies

They itched in hard
red welts, living there
They were contagious
a poor people problem

My grandmother
read us the Bible at night instead
instead of what
no one ever said

I don't write political poems because
I'm no expert
on the economy or budgets
or cost cutting

I am an expert
on being poor
of making a box of Kraft
Macaroni and Cheese stretch
like bloody fingers across a white
plate in a white apartment

There's some money now
and we give what we can
or so we say
but when I'm writing this
there's electricity, T.V,
an open can of  Diet Coke
half-empty and flat
that I'll throw away

How many people
could I feed on what I
spend on Diet Coke

A number

Still others wait
while I wonder what
could have been done
with all the money
spent on beer
and whiskey
and cigarettes
all the cool poet tricks

Still others
hoard cash
in the name of Jesus
but it's hard to eat a tank
and bullets don't make good doctors

Sometimes the noodles had hamburger
most of the time they didn't
Out of habit, my sister waited
to go to the doctor
and now it's too late

--Daniel Crocker

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