“Our Gang” for One Stop Poetry Challenge

I selected the following photo for today’s One Stop Poetry Picture Prompt Challenge… Everyone is welcome to participate. Click Here

Curb quiet
Out on the street

“Our Gang” sits
Hard times, that fear repeats
Collective despair, begging heirs
Tenterhooks, penniless, squalor bequeathed  

Checks into Hoovervilles
Smells of burning garbage
Crawling into appliance box holes
For slimy grits and lumpy porridge
Grace said over every meal
City streets to forage

While removed from joy
Health care won’t give
Insensitive skits
Their system quit
No money for shoes
Nor holiday gifts…

Children feel cuts
When depression hits

About the Photo:
Depression Era Childhood Faces (St. Louis, Missouri)
*image care of creative commons flickr:

39 Responses to ““Our Gang” for One Stop Poetry Challenge”

  1. Great Work!!

  2. Thank you!

  3. children feel cuts when recession hits….boy that is a strong statement that i know only too well…..history DOES repeat itself…as times were then so they are now…all that changes are material things…a great write adam…and thanks for for this great picture prompt…pete

  4. Anita Wakeham Says:

    A wonderful write, it brings to mind some of the stories my mum have told me about her childhood.


  5. Great read! Great poem! Thanks, Adam. I like the ‘beat’.

  6. This takes me back to my childhood in Ghana not the desperation but the gang, nice write friend

  7. fantastic take on the prompt adam – you paint a picture of a sad reality and i can almost smell the burning garbage

  8. Really like this poem a lot…a very fine response to the prompt.

  9. So well captured, as only you could… reminds me of the time of my parents… Only a pair of new shoes a year… no matter how long your feet became in the way…

    ‘Children feel cuts
    When depression hits.’ WoW man!



  10. Dulce, thanks for always being so supportive. Greatly appreciate that 🙂

  11. Childrern are always the first to feel it, often simply by watching the faces of their parents. Love the images here, Adam.

    • Think you’re right about kids and their observational learning. Thanks, Glynn. Enjoyed your response to the prompt today!

  12. Powerful piece, yes, children do feel the cuts, but then they haven’t been hardened by the past cuts yet… great phtoo selection this week.

  13. Good point, Reflections…. your comment reminds me of when older members of my family used to look back on childhood and say they didn’t realize they were extremely poor. In hindsight, their wonder now seems disbelief, and not without thankfulness for relatively better circumstances.

  14. How quick we forget–my grandparents lived through these days. I remember their stories, and understand why they lived frugally even when surrounded with blessing. But my children don’t have a clue.

    Great imagery! Thanks, Adam.

  15. Adam,

    I just tried to download this photo from flickr and noticed the licensing states All rights reserved. Do we have permission to post it?


  16. Excellent blend/reflections of past and present hard times, great word picks thrown with accuracy and hitting home, the our Gang reference too–some irony at the slapstick comedy people found then to comfort themselves and the stark contrast it made with reality, losing everything but the capacity to dream it better. Enjoyed this very much.

  17. Quite appropriate one shot Dustus

  18. Well done and, unfortunately, timely.

  19. What I particularly like about this poem is its applicability both to a past we learned about from our parents (those of old enough, that is, to have parents born well before the Depression) and to circumstances still with us. Adding the “Our Gang” reference was a wonderful touch.

  20. Strong ending note – so true what they say: it’s always the children who suffer. Very accessible poem, very real in feeling, applying in a sense both then and now. Reaches across the boundaries. Great, and tragic, work with the prompt Dustus!

  21. moondustwriter Says:

    No children are not insulated from hard times no matter how hard we would like to protect them.

    Thanks Dustus!!!

  22. Poor wee boys look so grim and grimey too. Excellent One Shot. sorry I’m so late, been one of those weeks.

  23. That era was such a sad time for so many. I wasn’t born yet, but, my parents weren’t affected as bad as others, they lived in the country and could grow food and preserve it for the winter months. Your poem describes the despair of so many at that time.

  24. The our gang reference, just makes it very real!
    Even though I can’t truly say that I understand the depth of the hardships, your words fit the picture to the ‘T’.

  25. Ouch, this is painful.
    Brilliant but painful.

  26. Adam what a picture. These are so familiar to me – given to me by my own father. I love the approach, and the site. I had to stop and say hello. Thanks again for your poetry at Got Poetry, and hopefully I will be by more often. Time just goes by… as the song said. But I will try my hardest.

    Sincerely, Nancy

  27. Excellent, Adam. This reminds me of listening to my Granny speak of Hoover, my Father tell of the depression and my Grandfather telling me how lucky they were compared to some…

  28. Dark, poignant and evocative. Well done.

  29. Bleak days indeed, nicely captured with this poem.

  30. Hey Dustus,

    Today my blog turns one and I am inviting you for the birthday party. Hope to see you there….cheers!

  31. Happy Birthday, my friend! 🙂

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