The Gas Bill: A Midwest Poem

Christopher D. Sims
2 min readJan 20, 2024

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The gas bill came the other day.
It lifted itself out of the mailbox,
climbed down to the porch,
and walked into the house.

It did not even announce itself.
It eased itself through the living room
to find somewhere it could be seen.
It leaned itself on the coffee table
to get stable.

As our eyes watched it do this,
we thought about how we might
have missed a payment, overlooked
our due date, were we too late?

How could we make ourselves straight
with Nicor Gas? Has too much time
passed?

Past the coffee table, into the dining room, the gas bill shuffled. We in here in struggle and this damn bill does not even care!

It made its way to my mother’s room and laid down next to her — not even minding she was comfortable sipping her coffee, working on a crossword puzzle.

My mother looked over at it, paying it
no mind. For the millionth time she
had seen a gas bill; had experienced
January Midwest chills; had been billed
and billed and billed.

She grabbed it and tossed it in the
garbage — she knew when it was due.
But as it sat there in the trash, it made
us all feel blue.

Photo by Tony L on Unsplash

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Christopher D. Sims

Writer, performance artist, and activist who writes about racism, anti-Blackness, and human rights struggles. A voice for truth and righteousness.