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.
By Marge Piercy
She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Gone to Soldiers,sweeping historical novel set during World War II.