WILL WORK FOR FOOD
What does it mean?
Mom, that man with that sign over there-
Where does he come from?
What does he need?
“Here’s a dollar, but come right back over here.”
I have a dollar, mister
“Thank you my boy”
What does it mean you’ll work for food?
“I have no other options, no other means
But I have arms and legs,”
This much can be viewed.
Why do you sit on the ground?
My dad wears a suit
And buys my lunch and my dinner
Do you have a dad?
Do you have a suit?
“I had both, but I wasn’t a winner.”
“Come along now Thomas”
I have to go now
Will you get what you need to survive?
“I have no prospects, but by your kindness
I will indeed, I surmise.”
He was nice, mom
He had things to say
There’s just one thing that doesn’t sit right
We have so much,
But he has so little
Where does he go when it’s night?
“Don’t worry about him,
Worry about school
Get good grades and work harder
Do your best, make lots of friends
Don’t think for a second you’re smarter”
I am smart
I am good
I am all of these things that matter
You tell me I am, I show you I am
I know the difference between former and latter
When I grow up, I’ll buy a house
I’ll have a wife and a boy just like me
I won’t work for food, this much I conclude:
I’ll be the best I can possibly be.
Some months and years later
Loans, degrees; now a waiter
Day by day, while the years fly by
Writing a little,
Spending a little
Checks and tips, on which to rely
Stock market friendly
Gourmet and trendy
In dense and immense city life
No home that I own
This boy’s fully grown:
No white picket fence, and no wife.
I have time though
This much I know
I’m in no race to get to the top
Writing and reading
Dining and greeting
I can do what I love ’til I drop.
News on the radio, the sky looks different
Is it raining? Just a sprinkle. I love it.
Now it’s stopped raining
The sky still looks different
It’s coming down hard, what’s above it?
Baby blue, now pitch black
From Wuhan, it’s back
’58, ’68, 2020
Hindsight and technology
Cut costs, no apology
A leader no leader
Ill-prepared to turn ill
A nations sits still
As a man no man says “Easter”
The storms still a-coming
Death and Panic are humming
Denial while death tolls increase here
We’ll get through this I know it
But we continue to blow it
More and more lives will be lost.
For me it’s about breathing,
Our numbers decreasing,
While some others say “But think of the cost!”
Here I sit
That’s my singular goal day to day now
I once had job, just a month and it’s gone
An industry in shambles to turn back to
Hopeful and friendly
This too shall pass and then we
Go back to life as before, and then be
Back to normal? Unlikely
I know others like me
Out of work. Back to work?
We might be.
It’s hard to imagine it
It was hard to imagine this
Depression, a depression, they loom
Congress: turn around.
Save people, save people, and we will
Live on to thank you
No we’re not like the bank who
Will fund you if you save them first
But in this nation we matter
We give you votes and we flatter.
We the people, we’re your people
From 13 to 50, we’re millions.
But those at the top, they call the shots
Our lives now depend on their billions.
Here I sit
Weeks and months, they continue to go by
I have my health, she has her health,
But thousands continue to die.
Rent is due, bills are due
I’m still out of work, so are you.
I got good grades
I was really smart
I have friends and a strong ethic.
Now I just feel I’m pathetic.
As I sit here it doesn’t feel good
Yes I have my health
But for long not much else
Do different? Not sure what I would.
Luck is a factor, much is a factor,
Dreams and passions could once be pursued
In the richest country in the history of the world
But I’m here to tell you:
I will work for food.