Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Untitled poem

I think in this country
There is a conversation
About Class
That we are not having.

Oh, the race one
And the gender one
We are sometimes
In a kind of side swipey way.

A conversation that is not going well
And getting us nowhere.

But we like to believe
Here in the land of the Free
That folks are Poor
Because they don’t Apply Themselves,
And everybody
Can be
A Self Made Man.

It’s a secret
That folks on the bottom know
And a few obscure academics
Can back up with facts:
Your zipcode and parents income
Are the better than a palm reader
In predicting your future.

to the comfort of pundits
and Rapacious Haves,
And politicians
far removed from reality
Many of us were Passing
As Having.

We turned our houses into cash machines
And bought the snake oil
Of No Money Down
In the days of Pre Approved Credit
At Mafia rates.

But the Days of Not Having
And paying the piper are upon us,
They were long overdue.
Now, we watch in horror as 401K’s
Free fall with the
Market turned Bear.
We leave our steel albatrosses starving by the road,
Unable to sate their gas tanks.
We should have known when we began
Putting Food in their metal maws
That the party was over.

We are no longer Passing
As Having,
As the lines at the shelter and food pantry grow
And the foreclosures flood the market
And folks let the pipes freeze
And do without.

This is a nation that has seen hard times
I have no doubt there will be something
Left of us
When we come off this hard road.
But we need to stop believing
that folks who have fallen
on Hard Times
Are second class citizens.
We need to unpack the hidden backpack of privilege
That Having gets at the gate when they arrive.
We need to start living
As though we are all Related
Because we are

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