Mather Schneider

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My dad always said, “Money doesn’t grow
on trees!”

The idea was that we were very poor
but still he always had

lawn mowers, weed eaters, roto-tillers,
pruners, sprayers, mixers, spreaders,
trucks, tractors, chainsaws,
drills, etc.

My mother always said,
“We don’t have a pot
to piss in!”

but she always had
electric mixers, bread makers, self-cleaning
ovens, deep freezers
full of meat, a thousand
knives, big oak table, so much bread
it turned green, silver spoons,

It is a real trick to be rich
but feel yourself poor,
even to be ashamed of it.

It took me 40 years
to meet my wife, a Mexican woman
who had nothing to eat but beans and rice
most of her childhood,
lived in her house with a yard the size
of a rich man’s cemetery plot,
no tree,
no bed of her own,
had never even heard a cat purr
when I met her,
but she was happy and healthy
and proud
and still is,

helping me now
to live poor
and feel rich.


Mather Schneider was born in Peoria, Illinois in 1970. He was a cab driver in Tucson, Arizona for many years and now lives in Mexico. He has 5 books available on Amazon.