photo credit: Jamie Dedes

What do you say when you don’t know what to say?
What do you do when you don’t know what to do?
Where do you go when you don’t know where to turn anymore?

You’ve used up all your chances. No one wants to know you.
They say pull yourself up by your bootstraps, but the straps keep breaking.
People turn away when you try to meet their eyes because they’re afraid
Afraid you’re going to ask them for something that’s just too damn hard to give.

How can you find your way out of this mess?
There is no fairy godmother,
You won’t win the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes
You won’t win the Powerball or the State Lottery

All you want is something like a normal life.
With friends who want to spend time with you
Where you can spend money on things that make you feel good sometimes.
But somehow or other, it feels like you’ve fallen on the side of the undeserving.

—Lana Phillips

© 2015, poem, Lana Phillips, All rights reserved; photo, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

2 thoughts on “Undeserving

  1. I am positive that there are (too) many people who live this reality every, single day. So many of them face the reality that yes, “the straps keep breaking”. It really does seem for some of them as if they wouldn’t have any luck at all if you didn’t count their bad luck. Fortunately, there are people like you, and like the rest of us here at the Bardo Group – WE care, WE can do something about it, WE can help. 🙂 Thank you for sharing such a thoughtful poem with us.


  2. During the Israel-Hezbollah (Second Lebanon) war, I had to drive into the conflict area in Northern Israel to pick up my belongings from an apartment I had rented for the summer, but was now abandoning. Along the way, I stopped at a roadside cafe and spoke to the Arab waiter about the conflict. His point of view was that he just wanted a chance to raise his kids for a better life, where they could get a good education and would not have to work two jobs full-time to support their family (as he was doing, it turns out). Your lines brought his voice back to me:

    “…All you want is something like a normal life.
    With friends who want to spend time with you…”


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