Lunch Money

My presence was requested, as if
I was royalty or some potentate
Worthy of respect, obeisance and
Not just another inmate working
A prison job for wages so low,
I couldn’t pay a grade-schooler’s
Lunch money.
It’s a good thing there are school lunches
And prison meals, 'cause if it were
Up to me and my pay check,
Me and the grade schooler
Would both go hungry.

—Harlan Richards, Stanley