"Child Victim of the Great Depression"
Smoldering ashes are this girl's best friend;
they keep her warm as sun sinks lower.
Wistful gaze to coax the fire,
Hands to cover ears to block out
cries of self-pity and frustration in the next room.
Too many mouths to feed and too little money.
Thin coverlet that she hid beneath,
fabric that's pungent with the smell of the burnt wood
(She chopped it herself.)
Laying atop a bed with a stiff frame
to match her own stiff body,
exhausted after several nights without glowing embers.
Awake often enough to muse about the long season to come:
more peas to pick and less time for childhood.
She sits by the hearth and watches her dreams go up in smoke.
A/N: I had a picture that inspired this poem- this was an exercise for a creative writing class I took. The picture can be looked up online- by the famous and talented Dorothea Lange: A desparing little girl stares in cold fireplace, c. 1933- It'll be the topmost link on Google.