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Michael Estabrook

The Great Depression


Yes, you lose sleep

worrying where the money

will come from

for the new septic system

and to pay the credit card debts

and to fly to Florida to visit your mother.


I know you worry. I’m sorry about that.

But you have come

from so much more dire circumstances

from so much worse –

the Grandfather who in the Great Depression

slept in his car with his three daughters

ate spaghetti and stale bread

who dug ditches and graves and drove a laundry truck

to keep his family together

after their mother

left her life on the kitchen floor

in desperation and despair.


So you see I cannot feel sorry for you

you have a 60 inch TV

iPhones iPads computers and the Internet

music and a subscription to the Boston Lyric Opera

a medical plan and a house cleaner

you have been to Hawaii, London and Paris

you eat fresh fruits and vegetables

and steak

and sleep in a bed.