Photo Challenge #60, Still, May 12, 2015 – Keeping Your Head Above Water


Photo credit: -Vampire Zombie

Keeping your head above water

Is hard on Struggle Street.

The kids are killing me

What with food, health

Forever one of them has a cold

It’s always ‘I wanna I wanna…’

I am running and running and running.

My life is a series of events,

The supermarket

Fill the trolley with breakfast cereal

Liam has to have a kilo of cheese

Mary only white bread

The babies are showing lactose intolerance

My little money

My precious safety net

Going into the mouths of children.


Get them up, dressed

Breakfast! tedium

Lunches! Can I can I

Have ten cents, every one has ten cents


They trudge off downhearted

Their lunches not as everyone else’s

But they have food I tell myself.

Mid morning.

Babies cry, feed me feed me,

Clothes to be washed

Harry throws up,

Mace has shit himself again

I must buy more disposables

I’ll send Liam after school

Should be enough for one small pack.

Babies fed, a moment to stop

A coffee, a second to look out the window.

My life is a continuous circle

I go round and round

Repetition drives me crazy

Maybe the kids are right

I am a crazy lady.

John works two jobs, never sees the kids

He’s hurting too I know.

But it’s about keeping our head above water.

I look around, the kids mess is still there

Washing up to do,

Washing to hang out

Floors to vacuum

Beds to change

Dinners to plan

A half cup more in the soup,

The vegies cut thinner

The illusion of keeping your head above water.

Written for:

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18 Responses to Photo Challenge #60, Still, May 12, 2015 – Keeping Your Head Above Water

  1. Prajakta says:

    Ah… Life caught in tangles and there is no way out of this web. Nicely captured Michael

  2. phylor says:

    Treading water; for other reasons, know the trying to keep treading water, keep my head above the waves.

  3. That closing statement is especially powerful Michael. I only have one child but I still recognize the chaos and the struggle of being a one income family

  4. Oliana says:

    You did it again!! stay at home parenting is work but rarely does a person who has never done it truly grasp that fact. Wonderfully written, MIchael!

  5. mj6969 says:

    It just doesn’t get easier – the rich get richer, the poorer are stretched beyond thin, and the “middle class” is disappearing.

    The “daily grind” and routine – just to survive – whether alone – or with a family to support can be so overwhelming- and grief filled – you’ve captured the essence in spirit very well. A sad but evocative piece 🙂

  6. Bastet says:

    Nicely penned … not everyone can write such a great poem about the every day life of someone trying to keep their head above water .. a great take on the prompt.

  7. RoSy says:

    I have felt like this many times – as I’m sure many others have. You captured this quite well.

  8. julespaige says:

    So many have shared what I too would have said. Reality of the ‘daze’.
    Not at all what the ‘soap operas’ or ‘homes on the hill with nannies and maids’ see in any given day. It is only slightly different when coping with round two… helping with the grands.
    But we do what we must to attempt to ‘keep our heads above water’ and helping both our children and our elders do the same.

    Thanks for your visit and kind words to ‘Bargain Hunter’. Darkness seems like it is a reality some days. But I try to remember to re-open Pandora’s box and let Hope out daily 🙂

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