I was a dollar short of changing my situation,
Taking ownership of my dreams.
Damn, I was close but no cigar.
They wouldn’t let me slide on a dollar,
They didn’t know that as long as I owe them, they would never be broke.
They thought I was trying to shortchange them.
One of them told me that four quarters, ten dimes, 20 nickels, and 100 pennies
Could be the solution to a hungry man’s problems,
A pedestrian’s travel fare, an addict’s smoking habit, and an alcoholic’s craving.
A dollar to a kid at the candy store is that child’s wealth.
Not having enough to make sure that each child receives a dollar
Will wedge a war amongst them,
And a temper tantrum toward the one passing them around.
So I replied that I was tired of coming short of my goals,
Unable to get the items or services required to improve my life.
So I cope with all of this by drinking the occasional short dog
Accompanied by a bag of raspberry shortbread cookies.
I explained to him that due to the pandemic, I couldn’t go to work that much
Therefore I was short this month,
And my supervisor did not pay me for all of the hours that I worked.
I said to him
Now understand what a difference a dollar can make.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.