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The Non-Perks of Living in a Small Town

A Poem

We all know where everything is. Not by location. By senses.

That little store that smells like stale cigarettes and always has a stray dog they feed outside.

The park that everyone knows because of what it has, not the name.

There's always a McDonald's that has a broken ice cream machine and a dozen wrong orders.

There's not much to do for kids: a run-down roller skating rink, a skate park that smells like pot and is full of people who think they're cool when they're not, and the occasional festival or parade.

Walmart parking lot at night is the favorite hangout of barely-adults with their loud cars and smoking cigarettes like they're illegal.

Cows and horses are everywhere, poor farmers trying to make a living.

The schools are crowded because they can't afford more room or even new books. The walls are a boring white and the floors are dirty from dip spit and garbage. You are expected to mind your manners and fall in line when you are told.

Everyone knows a lot of people, and everyone knows how to describe to get places, by what surrounds them. The majority of people barely make enough to survive and have to get help for food. Drugs run rapidly as people try to fill a void that they can never fill. Children are running around while their parents are high out of their heads.

Almost everyone has a gun in their home, legal or not. No one can afford a security system, they can barely afford to live.

There's a movie theater that barely anyone goes to. They never have any snacks, the popcorn is all they have. The theater floors are dirty and worn down after the years of garbage and soda spilled. When you watch a movie, it's probably just you watching, but they play the movie anyway.

The highest paying jobs are either with a college degree or in a factory working 12-hour shifts. People work their lives away for nothing. They never get to travel or take time off. They work to live, and if they stop working,

they can't live

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