When Momma has work, there’s food in the cupboard. Grapes and apples in the refrigerator. Plenty of milk and even cheese and yogurt.
When Momma has work, sometimes she leaves before we do in the morning. I lock up the house, and make sure my little sister gets on her bus. Then I walk to school. It’s not too far. I used to stay after school, but now that I’m older I come home. I have to hurry, can’t stay and hang out with friends, because I don’t want my little sister to have to wait on the steps for me too long.
When Momma has work, there’s birthday presents, and sometimes even a birthday party. Christmas we get lots of stuff. Things she gets to pick out for us herself.
When Momma has work, if my shoes wear out, we get new ones. When school starts, we don’t have to use last year’s backpacks, and maybe we even get a few new clothes.
When Momma has work, she’s tired all the time. Sometimes she gets home so late I have to do the cooking.
When Momma has work, sometimes we go out for ice cream, or hamburgers, or even to the movies.
When Momma has work, it’s just my sister and me after school. We play the old game system my uncle gave us. It works most of the time. After Momma gets home, she stays up to help us with homework, even if it gets really late.
When Momma has work, we can go places you have to pay to get into, like the zoo. But we still don’t go very much because Momma’s got work.
When Momma has work, the house gets me-eh-ssy! I help sometimes, but it seems like no matter what there’s always clothes baskets and stacks of papers and dirty dishes everywhere.
When Momma has work, she doesn’t look worried all the time. She doesn’t take us out to the park all day and just sit there, staring off into the distance, as if she’s watching out for something bad that might come and get us.
Momma has work today, and I’m glad, I guess.