great depression poem #5

during the great depression my
older sisters crossed the field to
have a meal with the kids who
rode in the school van that
every day collected all us
country kids my sisters returned
in a kind of shock "We had only
mustard sandwiches – that was
ALL!" mother tried to explain the
situation, these friends were kind to
invite us; they were a tenant farmer
family, surely had pitiful income
a garden plot if lucky – no cow – how
fortunate we were to have enough
even daddy, all our hired men had
had huge salary cuts my sisters never
forgot mustard sandwiches even now
in their late years – I was too little
to attend that memorable lunch
but I listened – it was the first time
I'd heard of the great depression

2021 Jacqueline Jackson