Not Homeless, Just Moving by Jan Beatty

I wasn’t homeless, just had my mattress
in my ’69 Chevy, clothes underneath boxes

in the trunk. Everyday stuff in the front-seat
backpack. I moved 14 times that year,

drinking and drugs but still working
my waitress job. I was in motion.

Driving, working, hoping
to stay with a friend for a night,

I was pregnant but kept moving, and then
days later, fired from my downtown job

for trying to start a union—I wasn’t—
just arguing a waitress policy.

So, the night before my abortion staying
with a bartender (not the father) on his couch,

his girlfriend came home late and rightly
kicked me out. I wasn’t homeless,

just moving, 14 times that year,
and I was alone with it.


Visual art by Sarah Kohrs