Poem: The Privilege of Ripped Jeans (haiku in 10 variations)


When I was a teen

I thought torn blue jeans were cool

But I was a fool.


What did I know then?

Growing up in affluence

Surrounded by wealth.


We were immigrants

So we lived like we were poor

Mom saved everything.


Paper and plastic

Even aluminum foil

She re-used it all.


Mom was so frugal

I didn’t understand why

I felt embarrassed.


She lived through a war

She ate potatoes and bark

Her shoes were broken.


She saved her whole clan

By winning rice at her school

I never did that.


I lived a spoiled life

I was a pampered Princess

The youngest baby.


But I had poor clothes

Nothing trendy or stylish

So I wasn’t cool.


It’s so ironic

That the rich try to look poor

In brand new ripped clothes.


    1. Patches are cool, but no one bothers to use them anymore. I remember how my mom repaired loose buttons and tears in clothes, now everything is thrown away, never mended. ☹️

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    1. Thanks, Jaya! I was watching tv and noticed a comedian on stage who was wearing ripped, cut off jeans and it inspired the poem. I thought she looked strange, she probably could’ve afforded nicer clothes to wear to a Netflix tv performance but she was trying to be cool, by looking poor.

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