on, being poor

Being poor, I used to think,

Was what those kids in Africa


Seeing as I was told copious amounts of times,

that they didn’t have anything to eat.

So i should be grateful.

Grateful, I wasn’t.

Wasn’t poor.

[ note: there was no hint of … they were dispossessed people … dispossessed of their lands, their culture … their food. Yeah … we didn’t ‘know’ about that shit then! ]

But I did think, being poor,

Was about the not’s.

Not having what I wanted.

Not having my clothes bought from a nice shop, instead of the Op Shop.

Not getting what all those other kids had.

In which case, we were poor,

Well, a sort of poor.


But it turns out,

Poor looks a lot different when you’re standing

On your own two feet.

When you’re not a child anymore.

Poor looks very different also,

when you’re still in a house with walls.

Or when you have a choice of what to eat for breakfast.

Poor looks different when its Not a choice.

Although I ate weetbix and custard for two weeks

While my kids were away

So I could pay for the power bill:

Or I kept the kids at home, instead of sending them to school,

because I had no petrol,

And couldn’t afford the bus ticket:

Or, I smoked the butts out of the ashtray

Because smokes weren’t part of the budget:

This still is Not poor.

It’s not poverty.

It’s a choice.

A choice for something else.


It is also a choice that

I’m grateful I got to make.

Grateful and thankful

For every little bit of food

Every stitch of clothing

Every whole puff I have now.

You see, being 1st world poor,

Aint like being 3rd world, disenfranchised, impoverished, dispossessed poor.

Crying like a little bitch because I’ve run out of toilet paper,

Is not the same as having nowhere to shit in the first place.


2 thoughts on “on, being poor

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