In Tennessee by Marcus Severns


In Tennessee

by Marcus Severns

We lived in the tenth poorest county
In the united states.

We resided in a shed
Which was falling in
Due to termites.

We did not have electricity
Or running water.

I was in high school
And free lunch was my only meal.

In the winter
We kept our eggs and milk,
When there was eggs and milk,
On the front porch.

It was the only time of year
We were allowed to have those luxuries.

Without a refrigerator
The cold air kept our food fresh.

One night an animal came
From out of the darkness.

While we slumbered
It snatched our eggs.

After that
We didn’t eat for a while.

And while there are still people
Who live like we did

There is another kind of person
Who thinks poverty is a choice.

People who never
Missed a dinner

For a sold week.


I was born in Portland Oregon, but have enjoyed a life of travel since I was a young person. I have lived in almost every inland state in the country. For now I am staying in Tennessee with my family while I work on writing within the beautiful landscape.