“$12,000” by Bailey Olmstead

I leave for college in a week,

Boston bound.

My phone went off this morning,

It was Boston calling me,

Not literally, you get the point.

But Emerson was calling me,

I’m $12,000 short, my bill is a month past due.

I’m a kid, 18, maybe an adult, peach fuzzed and bright eyed.

I don’t have $12 let alone $12,000.

My parents both work two jobs, I do too,

I want to be a writer.

The odds are slim,

But my parents, they believe in me,

Enough to put us all in debt.


They deserve a living wage.

I do too,

I deserve not to wake up to the phone calls on $12,000 I don’t own.

I deserve not to reach for my wallet and have an anxiety attack,

Worried that my supermarket arithmetic was wrong,

And that the cashier will ask for money, that I don’t own.

I just want to go to school,


Change the world.

I don’t want money to hold me back.

$12,000 between me and my dreams.



by Bailey Olmstead