Tag Archives: poverty

Speechless by Peggy Schimmelman

Photo of open-beaked bird

In the small Appalachian town where I was born lived a squat, bowlegged, hairless doctor. Some called him a quack and a dope fiend, but in 1954 he delivered me on his dining room table, spanked me ‘til I cried, and thirteen years later laid his cigar in an ashtray as his flabby fingers probed my pubescent neck while he peered through Coke Bottle lenses down my throat, past my recalcitrant tongue, exploring the mystery of vocal cords that refused to function. I cringed at his questions, so on point that I wept, as one … Continue reading Speechless by Peggy Schimmelman

Hurt People Elect to Hurt People

cracks in road with grafiti leading to Centralia, PA

A few years ago the Northumberland County prison in Sunbury, Pennsylvania burned down. It was a spectacularly awful fire of an historically neglected building. That it caught fire was of no surprise to anyone. The prison board immediately convened to discuss a contingency plan. Surrounding counties could absorb the inmate population but not the corrections officers and administrative staff. State unemployment compensation takes two weeks to kick in. So the board announced they would pay the prison employees for two weeks worth of work they were not able to perform. Cue the public outcry. Nobody … Continue reading Hurt People Elect to Hurt People