Transitional Assistance


As soon as I touch my foot
it unravels
out of my boot,
I need to take
better care of myself
I should really stop
eating taco bell.
i should really stop
not eating at all.

Have you ever been
so poor
you had sleep for dinner?
that’s where I’m writing from.

so i skulk back in line
at transitional assistance
where the welfare men
stare at me unduly
probably wondering whether
id get an abortion or not
if it came down to it
and how i would afford it
because they can’t
(answer: I’ll do anything
to feel ok again
survival is my main goal

my belly is full
of free cake
from the bakery
my teeth are rotting
and i feel sick
they call my number
and i say “Please,
someone help me to
get through this.”

13 thoughts on “Transitional Assistance

      1. Honestly, I think I am deliriously babbling at this point! I was a social worker for many, many years and I know so many people who went through experiences like the one you depict in this piece. I have been through similar experiences. I think you captured so eloquently what it takes to ask for help, how judged we feel, how processed like paperwork.

      2. I’m so happy to feel like I’m contributing to something important, instead of (or in addition to) divulging details from my day. this is what keeps me sharing my work, that and the support i get that honestly keeps me going, keeps me able to feel life this strongly and not turn numb. this blog and the community with it was such a game changer for me. thanks again-

      3. I think that you do a beautiful job of giving voice to the voiceless. Some of us are the wind, we are the tornado and quite honestly most days I would rather be the whirling dervish and feel EVERYTHING than nothing.

      4. I started writing again because I could no longer find the poems I could relate to. Today instead of finding one about welfare, i made my own. Sometimes i think id rather feel nothing. i feel alot. but giving a voice to the voiceless is important to me, i remember it sucked when i couldnt find a poem that sang to me. thank you again for saying i do, for the people who need to be sung to the most. the world does a shitty job of it.

      5. I have never been as acutely aware as I have been the last six months how important, how transformative, it is to be seen. REALLY seen in all our glorious light and sticky dark. You burn too incandescently to be invisible. Know that.

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