Daddy's Debt


They tell you money doesn't buy a person happiness,

But being in debt doesn't feel too good, either.

Through private school and piano lessons

and new cars and contact lenses,

You wonder why your daddy

never stopped to think about money.

It's not that he didn't make enough,

But he sure as hell wasn't saving enough.

New DVD releases this week?

Might as well buy two of each.

Broken guitar string?

Might as well buy a new guitar.

Your friends' parents all make less than yours do,

But your friends can afford to leave for college,

and you get stuck in a community college,

Knowing you wouldn't have qualified for financial aid, anyway ---

and knowing that taking out a loan

Would have meant putting yourself in debt,

Like your father.

He raised you to dream big, 

He told you to play for gold,

But he maimed your ability to dream

for anything beyond what he could afford,

and that debt hanging over his head

Stopped you from dreaming big ---

Stopped you from playing for gold ---

But forced you into realizing

that all you want

is to be in a better position than he is,

and a better position than what he put your mother in,

and your sister in,

and especially

than what he put you in.

It's not a matter of social status,

but a matter of missed opportunities

and wasted aspirations;

I could be a damn-good doctor

Or lawyer

Or engineer ---

I could have chosen to be anything,

Had I the money for the education ---

But, through the bitterness I chew on every morning,

I know that it's not too late to find myself

In a good institution,

With a good degree,

In a good line of work.

I'm an adult, now.

It isn't about daddy, anymore.

This is all on me.


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