This is one of the best pieces I’ve read or heard on Medium — well, anywhere, to be honest, Jessica.
My daughter was a single mother of two children. Their father didn’t pay a dime for their care. She and my grandchildren lived with me for several years while she worked varying hours and days in retail, never making enough to be self-sufficient. To ease the burden on me, she reluctantly applied for various forms of assistance, always treated like trash, always forced to give up hours of paid work to meet the paper, interview, and embarrassment demands of bureaucrats, until what she received was less than what she lost and could lose by leaving work to jump through endless hoops. All while her doctor ex-husband made another baby while hiding successfully from the authorities so he didn’t have to pay for his two other babies. Yet, she was the one society ostracized. She, the one who was doing and working and trying, was the one labeled and othered and discarded as worthless.
I get it. Even though I didn’t live it personally like you or like her, I definitely get it. And, you captured perfectly the essence of that reluctant need for help and all the pathos that goes with it. And, you captured the divine gift of understanding and encouragement and humanity.
Your voice is as smooth as orange blossom honey and made the poem all the more poignant.
Thank you, Jack, for the tag so I wouldn’t miss this. Now, I shall tag Tracy Aston, Shringi Kumari, Captain Argentina, Adam, Diabetic Cyborg, Sam Kimberle, Christina Ward 💗, Sam McKenzie Jr., Deborah Christensen, kurt gasbarra, and Susan Christiana. Pass it on!