Friday, September 03, 2004

Living in Poverty

I had this conversation 2nd period today.
It is not any more unusual than hundreds of others I 've had with Cleveland high school students over the years, but I thought I would share it with you, given the recent headlines affirming the fact that 47% of Cleveland's children live in poverty.

"Hey, Ms. Matt! Know what?
I talked to my dad…He’s getting out of prison this year. He said I could live with him."

"Really? How long has he been in prison?"

"My whole life."

"Have you ever been there to visit?"

"A few times.. He said he’s gonna buy me a car, and we are going to live in a big house.
The place I live now is too crowded. We have two beds and five couches in two rooms. It’s my mom and her boyfreind and five kids and me.
It’s never quiet. Sometimes I just like to be someplace quiet…ya know?"

"I know"

"He said we will live in the country. I can't wait."

"I'm sure your mom will miss you."

"She don't care. There's too many little kids."

Hmmm.. I thought.
I wonder what the job market looks like for a man who has been incarcerated for fifteen years?

Some thoughts are best kept to oneself.

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