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Childhood of the Ancients
By Andrew Hudgins

Hard? You don't know what hard is, boy:
When I was your age we got up in pitch dark,
and walked five miles to school and ten miles back,
uphill both ways, and all we had for lunch
was a cold sweet potato and dry cornbread.
And when we got back home your grandma made us
chop cotton, slop the hogs, then milk chickens
before supper, and all we had to eat
was chicken-fried pine straw and redeye gravy.
Maybe some turnip greens, Maybe some collards.
But what do you know? Shoot, you've always had
hot food plopped in front of you, like magic.
for you, it's all ice cream and soda pop.

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