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338 Dollars Behind

the snow is so beautiful
it floats like the birds
and it muffles the sounds
of discouraging words
it’s Christmas and New Years
snowmen and sleds
beautiful children
asleep in their beds

she lived in a building
where it wasn’t so bad
they gave her medications
for the voice in her head
oh but life is so hard
and what can you do
they put her outside
when the rent was overdue

in the parking garage
when the temperature froze
hypothermia
she took off her clothes
and she lay down to sleep
like a rag on the floor
and she never woke up
anymore

that’s how it is, like it or not
when barely enough is all that you got
338 dollars behind
and that was the end of the line

in this game of life
some people stand tall
some are invisible
and don’t count at all
some people make big noise
and some not a sound
how can we live
in this kind of town

it’s an old story
you’ve heard it before
the rich get richer
the poor stay poor
and it’s only a song
and it’s only snow
until it gets cold
and there’s nowhere to go

that’s how it is, like it or not
when barely enough is all that you got
338 dollars behind
and that was the end of the line

(for Karen Lee Batts)