We're poor. That's just how it is. We get food stamps. Sometimes we go to soup kitchens. You surprised? Everyone you know lives in a house, right? We don't. We share a hotel room. That's not so bad. We lived in our car for a month once. It could be worse.

Believe me, it could be a lot worse.

It's not like we don't have fun. My little brother always smiles when I come home. He doesn't know we're poor. He just knows we play with him and people wave at him in the street, and as far as he's concerned, the world loves him. Everything is fine.

It's not so bad for me either. You don't have to feel sorry for me or anything. Sure, I'd like to have new clothes, like you do, and my own PC. But I use the one at the library.

I even have e-mail.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not planning to stay poor. I'm gonna get a job, soon, after school. And maybe then, after I help out my mom, maybe I can get my own stuff. But most of all I have to study, cause I study really hard. It's like I'm in this prison, and I'm making this rope ladder, and every new thing I learn is another rung on the ladder, another thing that's going to get me out. Oh yes, I've got plans. I've got lots of plans.

But for now, it's not a good thing or a bad thing. Being poor. It's Life. You know?

Copyright 2008 James B. Chevallier
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