the disease of Catch 22
–one of millions
who has it–
accepted to the party
without my confirmation
what do i do?
sits in the garage
–odd in itself that the junk accummulated
over the years has been finally removed,
so the Corolla that was bought in 2005
with 36,000 miles on it and cost me $15,000-
more value than my life —
is finally given a prestigious place
in the household–
it does not run…
engine is puttering strange sounds
the brakes are grinding
like the 50 cents in my pocket
that is going towards repairing it…
i wake in the middle of the night
how can i fix my car
can i find a job
to pay for its repair
but how will i get to the job
when i do not have the fare
the bills are mounting
do i get a job for $7.46 an hour
that will cost me the Social Security payment
that I worked for 35 years of teaching to accumulate?
the public is angry at me
because i taught their children
for $5000 a year in 1980
held three other part-time jobs while teaching full-time during the day
but then everyone, including myself,
had to pay property taxes,
to pay my salary…
the Governor of Wisconsin
says i was one of the million–there is that phrase AGAIN–
that caused the economic collapse of this state
WHO would have thought that MY SALARY would do such a thing?
if i work and earn $7.46 an hour
i will have to repay $1 for every $2 i earn
back to Social Security
because thirty-five years of teaching was not enough
not to mention the other six years of working in a nursing home
being a receptionist for awhile
getting taxed on the $11 i made doing a calligraphy job
and other odd jobs
to get myself through school
–did not count–
but my Corolla is safe in the garage
and i cannot capitalize i anymore
i have been lost among the millions…
the disease of Catch22
…i would be thinking of my lesson plans on Friday
so all of the thoughts would cascade over their conscious stream of mind on Mondays
…i would correct English compositions in the evening after my three would snuggle into bed…
then early the next day, i would kiss them goodbye
and cry all the way to work, to leave my darlings behind…
while i went to teach other people’s children…
and give them my best…
while at home my own children slept…
…how wrenching it was to me…
however, once there, the children before me became my own…
now…however…all are gone…
my students and my children…
and I sit here
at the keyboard
in the middle of the night
wondering, what did i do?
why does the public hate me so?
i taught their children
i was the best i could be
but then forced out of teaching
because after thirty-five years i finally hit the pay ceiling
i can’t sleep at night…
i wake and think
of what use am i?
a term when i was young
i did not understand
i am living it…
one of millions…
What a sad truth! It brings true sadness to think of all you suffered without any reward. But you will be rewarded for all your goodness, Jane!
Chris, it isn’t just me who is suffering…in fact, I am quite fortunate when I think of all that I have…I see so many people struggling around me. I was just overwhelmed in the middle of the night and started thinking too much…but like I wrote, I am “one of millions” in the same boat. Then this morning I saw a photo essay of the bedrooms of children around the world—and wished that I could give them the 3 of mine that stand empty!
Your so right life is hard sometime and can be cruel, but you are love by many people and have friends!!
Yes, Mich, you are right…I do have the love of my family my many good friends–like YOU—and so many people have been so good to me along my journey! There are many, many others who are suffering worse than me! This morning i saw this post on Facebook—“If you do not have a purpose, CREATE one!” There it was–waking me up! and it is so true!
Hi Jane, WOW. You are a powerful writer/poet. Too bad you have to give it away for free.
Reblogged this on Ta hendene til din kjære – se på dem og hold dem hardt Disse hendene skal du følge, leie og lede. Du skal få føle på varmen fra dem og kjenne en inderlig glede. De skal stryke deg og de skal holde rundt deg – de er ikke skapt for å såre i vrede For du skal ikke alene mer vandre. De skal klemme og kose og aldri klandre De skal skjerme deg for det du ikke selv ser. De skal elske og aldri forakte – bare hjelpe når du ber. Disse hendene skal jobbe for at dere skal få det godt De skal gi – og du skal takke for det du har fått. De skal tvinnes sammen i kjærlighet og være ømme og gode og et tegn på inderlighet Hendene du holder er sterke og unge De skal gjennom mye for din skyld når dagene er tunge De skal stryke og klemme og være gode og fromme De skal ruske i ditt hår og takke når dagen er omme Disse hendene skal følge deg gjennom livet. De skal holde fast ved deg og verne om samlivet De skal være hos deg når alle andre har gått De skal aldri slippe men holde fast og tørke tårer når du har grått. Hendene skal bære din ring med rette Den skal skinne og for alle berette Jeg elsker deg! – kan den bekjenne Det er bare en som har maken til denne En dag er hendene blitt ru og grå Hver fure og rynke forteller om livet som bak dere lå Dere kan minnes den dagen i dag – da et livslangt bånd Ble knyttet Og fra denne dag dere gikk Hånd i hånd..
Thank you for the reblog, Lisa!
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