The poor are no longer with us

We read this poem, The poor are no longer with us, Saturday at our Public Hearing on Poverty and the Federal Budge at St. Paul’s Missionary Baptist Church in Akron.

The poor are no longer with us
Marge Piercy
The poor are no longer with us
No one’s poor any longer. Listen
to politicians. They mourn the middle
class which is shrinking as we watch
in the mirror. The poor have been

discarded already into the oblivion
pail of not to be spoken words.
They are as lepers were treated once,
to be shipped off to fortified islands

of the mind to rot quietly. If
poverty is a disease, quarantine
its victims. If it’s a social problem
imprison them behind high walls.

Maybe its genetic: how often they
catch easily preventable diseases.
Feed them fast garbage and they’ll
die before their care can cost you,

of heart attacks, stroke. Provide
cheap guns and they’ll kill each
other well out of your sight.
Ghettos are such dangerous places.

Give them schools that teach
them how stupid they are. But
always pretend they don’t exist
because they don’t buy enough,

spend enough, give you bribes
or contributions. No ads target
their feeble credit. They are not
real people like corporations.

http://monthlyreview.org/2012/05/01/the-poor-are-no-longer-with-us-these-bills-are-long-unpaid

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