When by Laura Levesque


When will there be
enough money to balance
each note due at the end
of every month, and for groceries and gas
heat that gets shut off in winter, or the car
that needs brakes and tires, to get
to the job where raises are frozen, then on to
pick up the kids from your net-paycheck
daycare, to hold your spot
in the office where you’re treading water,
after you’ve been gone too often for
their doctors and dentist,
but when will you have enough time to finish
that project your whole team is counting on,
when do you check on your elderly parents
who need your help more than ever, mostly
when will you just set down with them to talk, and help
your grandma, who passed out at Christmas dinner,
when will you counsel your anxious teenaged daughter,
and show her you’re doing one single thing right,
when will you be anything
other than less
of what everyone needs,
when will you not be
a disappointment

by Laura Levesque

Editor’s Note: This poem’s run on sentences and missing punctuation illuminate the speaker’s desperation in impossible circumstances and shows how that desperation can twist until it wounds the self.


2 responses to “When by Laura Levesque”

  1. Michelle W Meyer Avatar
    Michelle W Meyer

    Yes, when.

  2. richardsund Avatar

    A very painful but very touching poem. Actual love contains so much sacrifice, worry, and pain. Sometimes someone notices and loves us just for being alive. Maybe soulmates meet.

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