even before the pandemic
there were second notices
in the mail box
and every dollar stretched
and the family packed
in that piece of crap
her cousin gave her

riding on fumes

eking by 'til Friday

back then
there was a box of so-called staples
from the food pantry
and calling the electric company
trying to keep the lights on
what with the rent due
and the little one needing shoes

even then she kept her distance
having been burned thrice
and so not trusting in the kindness of strangers
or the flirtations of men
and she was busy anyway
always underwater
cleaning houses before her shift

getting by

making do

and then they close the schools
and grandma can't keep em
in the midst of all this contagion
and it's goddamn hard
but i swear it was hard
even then
Written by javalini
Author's Note
Listening to NPR -- the effects of the pandemic on the poor.
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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Ahavati nomoth
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