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Memories from the ghetto.

Visions of sugar bread.

By Lamar WigginsPublished 21 days ago 1 min read
Memories from the ghetto.
Photo by Charles Chen on Unsplash

Afros and Bigwheels, hula-hoops and slinkies

Disco on the radio, and loads and loads of twinkies.

We grew up poor

but were too young to understand,

that poverty and the ghetto

walked in stride, hand in hand.

Rent was ninety dollars,

a bus ride thirteen cents.

You can look all you want,

you wouldn't find any picket fence.

None of it mattered,

we enjoyed life the same.

We played chess like the rich kids

and even owned a monopoly game.

Times were tough indeed,

not much to choose from the cupboards.

Similar to that ageless tale

of poor Old Mother Hubbard.

Jiffy cornbread for breakfast, bologna sammiches for lunch,

Day old chicken for dinner, it had everything but the crunch.

But nothing compared

to that heavenly treat

of sugar bread on white,

since we couldn't afford wheat.

Untoasted unbuttered,

just a slab of wonder bread.

Sprinkled with lots of sugar,

became the love of our hungry heads.

Humbling it is,

remembering self-taught tenacity.

And we survived those trying times,

with just a few measly cavities...

I'd do it all over again...

By National Cancer Institute on Unsplash


About the Creator

Lamar Wiggins

Creative writer in the Northeast US who loves the paranormal, mystery, true crime, horror, humor, fantasy and poetry. Take a chance, you'll be thoroughly entertained.

"Life is Love Experienced" -LW


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Comments (15)

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  • Jay Kantor14 days ago

    L-bro ~ Such a fun read ~ your rhymes are much better than mine. You shoulda been our Kristen's pick with 'The Llama & Koala' Schtick as you both write about socks. Cannot tell you how so many of our stories hit-home with one another. My Twin, Lucky Larry and I, as a 1st order of breakfast biz, was to fight over the toaster making Cinnemon/Sugar Toast. They even made a cereal for that; we should charge them royalities. Your Jibro

  • Babs Iverson15 days ago

    Nostalgic & inspirational!!! Definitely relatable!!! Lovedit!!💕❤️❤️

  • The Dani Writer15 days ago

    Aww, this is PRECIOUS!!! Transported me back in time, this poem did! Boy, do I remember those legendary Monopoly games and games nights throughout my childhood. Thank you so much for writing and sharing!

  • Tiffany Gordon 16 days ago

    Sensational work! Thx 4 sharing your lovely memories with us!

  • Mark Gagnon17 days ago

    I spent the first part of my childhood on a farm then transitioned to the projects. Talk about culture shock, from no kids around to too many. We got government surplus food and it's probably why cheese is still my favorite food. I can connect with this story, my friend.

  • I don't recall ever having sugar bread, but dad sure wanted to make sure the peanut butter was spread thin! Wonderful memories, Lamar.

  • D.K. Shepard20 days ago

    Great piece that blends nostalgia with an appreciation for the joys and lessons among hard times! The use of rhyme really added to the flow! Excellent poem, Lamar!

  • I love crunchy food but for some unknown reason, I don't like my bread to have the crunchy element. That's why I don't buy the chunky peanut butter, only the smooth ones. Anyway, I can see how much sentiment this sugar and bread holds for you. Loved your poem!

  • John Cox20 days ago

    This is truly inspirational writing, Lamar! Make your own fun and make your own love. My father grew up poor, on the wrong side of the railroad tracks and he was one of the happiest men I ever knew. Slept with his three brothers in a single bed and spoke lovingly about it till the day he died. His favorite food was peanut butter. He loved eating it with everything. In Denmark, people spread vanilla frosting on wonder bread. When I first tried it in a Danish Army mess hall it was easy to see why it's so popular there.

  • Shirley Belk21 days ago

    Sounds like my childhood. Glad I preferred white bread over wheat, too! But fried bologna sandwiches are still delicious to me on occasions, I must confess.

  • Hannah Moore21 days ago

    Riches aren't always financial! This was fabulous to read.

  • Excellent work Lamar!!!

  • Sara Wilson21 days ago

    This is so well written and very relatable. I grew up in a similar situation. Only my parents seemed to not care about us as much as they did themselves.. Dad left. Mom would save the "good food" for her and her boyfriends while we ate generic kraft Mac n cheese and off brand chips lol. We weren't allowed soda. And only allowed two ice cubes in a cup for our koolaid or tap water lol. That's the nice version lol. Things got pretty dark.. there are some things I would change but mostly I'm grateful that I can give my kids everything I never got and do for them everything my parents never did. Play games with them. Read to them. Keep them in a safe and loving home. ☺️

  • Cathy holmes21 days ago

    That is fabulous. We used to put sugar and cinnamon on toast, and now I want some. 😁 Great entry.

  • L.C. Schäfer21 days ago

    A great entry, Lamar, good luck!

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