Sitting in the parking lot
at Walmart, babysitting my youngest brothers, I want to
be invisible to my friends
and their mothers who hurry past me.
Mom and my little sisters are
rushing through the aisles picking
up food for the week.
When they return, Mom drops a bag of cheetos
on our lap, telling us to share without fussing
before stashing the groceries in the trunk.
I see people eyeing our basket
as they pass us
thinking how come
we have to support those
extra mouths with our taxes
and food stamps; thinking
it's our fault
we can't afford stuff.
I pretend I'm in church- head down so
nobody sees me in the ugly car we're in-
waiting for the service to end
the food put away
Mom in the front seat proud
she managed seven bags this week
with her food stamps.
Did you buy ice-cream, I ask.
Not this time, she says, I promised Dad I'd pick him up some beer on the way home.