Voices From These Times: ‘Debtor’s Blues’

Keisha Nelson

In These Times has partnered with the Neighborhood Writing Alliance (NWA) to amplify the stories and struggles of ordinary people, including workers in the United States. This piece, part of an ongoing biweekly series, originally appeared in the Journal of Ordinary Thought , published by NWA. Find more stories and voices at the NWA’s blog.

Debtor’s Blues

I’m sitting here at this desk 

Wondering how I got myself in this mess. 

Bills are piling up high 

Don’t know what else to do but cry. 

Praying for an answer 

Ignoring the fact that worrying is a disease like cancer. 

Can’t lie – I did this to me, for reasons I don’t know why. 

If I did smoke trees, this would definitely be the time to get high. 

But I don’t

So, I won’t.

Already on medication, so I can’t drink. 

So much time alone, I can’t do anything but think. 

How could I be so stupid? 

Took my already mounting debt and looped it. 

Shopped to ease my pain. 

Should have just used my brain. 

Instead, I dug myself a hole – and it’s deep. Don’t want to file, cause they won’t discharge the student loans. 

Regretting my legal education cuts to the bone. 

So, anyway, I guess I’ll go look for a part-time job. 

Working a lil bit more can’t be that hard. 

They say hard work builds character. 

Once I get this part-time gig, I’ll let you know how I feel afterwards.

Keisha Nelson is a training instructor for state of Illinois.
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