I grew up believing I was poor.
               I imagined quarters in my change jar: the Sign. No need to check the account before buying groceries. Won’t eye the several bills folded under an unattractive ring of keys on the gleaming entryway table. No thanks, no loan for me today. My phone would be in service. Even HBO. Yes, I'll purchase more than ten dollars of gas this time.
               This afternoon, I filled my gas tank to the brim. I’ve got food in my fridge and quarters in my change jar.
               I will not give them to you.

So stop calling me.
               Stop sending letters.
               Don’t draw attention to what I owe you.
               It’s rude.
               Or if you’re trying to be funny, I am not amused.
               Let’s say I lack willingness to pay you.
               If you call tomorrow, I will still be lacking.

Don’t call in my best interest. You can’t pretend this has nothing to do with you.
               Don’t try to change my mind. You can’t beg my pardon.
               Let me insist on this: I have nothing to excuse.

©2008 Dr. Lacy M. Johnson All Rights Reserved.