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In: Poverty and Children's Adjustment

Chapter 3: Poverty and the Family: Demographic and Structural Features

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Poverty and the Family: Demographic and Structural Features
Poverty and the family: Demographic and structural features

I thought about stories I'd been told, about women whose men left them or stayed to laugh out the sides of their mouths when other men mentioned other women's names. Behind my aunt Dot was a legion of female cousins and great-aunts, unknown and nameless—snuff-sucking, empty-faced creatures changing spindles at the textile plant, chewing gum while frying potatoes at the truck stop, exhausted, angry, and never loved enough.

The women I loved most in the world horrified me. I did not want to grow up to be them. I made myself proud of their pride, their determination, their stubbornness, but every night I prayed a man's prayer: Lord, save me from ...

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