Volume 34, Number 2

The Investment

They say it takes twenty years to go from poverty
to lower middle class, but that assumes a starting
point at which things begin to improve.

Three part-time jobs, 90 hours each week, and we
still tread water. Truth seemed to hit us both at once.
Last night in bed we talked acceptance:

Home in the projects, SNAP benefits and EBT card,
free school lunches and clothing vouchers, WIC,
state medical cards, food bank boxes of canned goods.

Our only extravagances a weekly trip to DQ for
cones and eight dollars for Powerball and Mega
Millions tickets so that we may continue to dream,

not of the Tudor in Bexley, the long, low brick ranch
in Upper Arlington, a coveted spot in German Village.
A little tract house in White Hall or Groveport will do:

A place to plant pansies, a swing set for the kids,
a Weber grill where in the afternoons he clicks
tongs twice, asks “who’s ready for a burger?”

—Mary Moody