TO BE A LOWER ONE

Thanks to my stay at the San Diego Rescue Mission I was inspired by this lovely piece.

You walk around barking orders at women from the moment you walk into the door.

You stand there pointing your finger over and over again.

Kids run around screaming their heads off.

Moms sit and stare, some on their phones, some puffing on their cigarettes.

Me, sitting waiting for the day just to be over.

Wondering how and what I was doing there.

What is wrong with me, how could I do this to my kids.

Resignated and defeated I make the one call that I have dreaded all my life.

To their father. The one who has never been there.

And to my surprise he laughs and tells them that he can not help.

We walk downstairs to the room of death.

A morgue for the dead now converted for the living and in despair.

It’s gloomy and loud. for the children have not settled.

Five minute showers that’s all that is allowed.

While she walks out and yells to the kids to keep it down.

A feeling of depression overwhelms me then I hear her speak.

The devil in disguise. Welferas. People of the system.

She is spitting out words that roll of her tounge about how we have to get out of the system.

She then tries to smooth out her prejudice by saying,

“I once was there.”

But I ask myself where?

I have worked almost all my life since I was fourteen.

Making 8, 9 dollars an hour can not pay for 1200 dollars of rent.

The face that she makes is of disgust.

Then she bows down her head and says “let’s pray.”

The lower ones.

We are underground and not allowed to speak to the ones that live above us.

The lower ones.

The ones without a roof above our heads.

The lower ones.

At 7 am is the dismissal so you can return at 5.

Carrying your belongings all day long.

The lower ones.

You cant brush your hair because 4 more women are in the only bathroom.

I am thankful. Do not get me wrong. There is a roof on my head and food on my plate.

But this feels like the system.

I feel like if I was being punished and doing time for being poor and broke.

My health seems to get worst.

Then the devil return with a grim in her face and looks at me and says,

“You don’t look disabled.”

Wow I shake my head. I did not know or was I aware that one had to look disabled to be disabled.

The lower one.

In a dungeon of grim and the sad.

Where the food looks like slops.

The hot dogs are green and recycled chicken is every 3 days.

The lower ones.

But I am thankful. I have a roof on my head and food on my plate.

I want to cry and scream I do not want to be a lower one.

I want to work and have my own roof and cook my own food.

But I can’t afford it. Our health seems to be deteriorating.

But you know what.

Come to think about it.

I am not ashamed to be a lower one.

I am just one of many that has been lowered due to all this political greed.

I am one of many that have tried and somehow missed that step to greatness.

I am a lower, a lower who will rise from that dungeon of sadness,

And I will live to see many brighter days.

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