Wet Feet

This poem was written by Poverty Talks! member, Sue Gwynn. 

The pain in my body is telling me

I have to go

The kids will be home in 2 hours

This is the perfect time

I pick up my phone

Check one more time

I consult the carefully planned list

6 meals

That's what need to buy

And still get the not so perfectly coloured


Shoes I will wear to work

I will walk my children to school in them

I will wear them into the alley to collect cans

I will wear them until they look like the ones I have on right now

Bottoms bare

Sponge soles exposed

Cracks along the stress points

They collect water, slush and snow

Like I collect cans to get to 6

The smell of them reminds me of how I feel

After not eating for 3 meal times

But I don't think of that

When I am tucking in my content children

I know people move away from me because of that smell

I have to leave them outside at night

But when I make my choices

I do what’s right

The store isn’t too busy today

I like it that way

I can keep better count without having to make it


I check my math

I’m good at math

Everything is too much

Why isn’t it adding up right

I need 6

6 is the smallest number I can get

There is only one way

I have the fear of being 89 cents wrong

But the new math is right

I have the 6 I need

My old shoes can make it one more month

After all they already know

The paths a walk

It will be Spring in just 4 months.