I see old people on pensions in the
supermarkets and they are thin and they are
proud and they are dying
they are starving on their feet and saying
nothing. long ago, among other lies,
they were taught that silence was
bravery. now, having worked a lifetime,
inflation has trapped them. they look around
steal a grape
chew on it. finally they make a tiny purchase, a day’s worth.
another lie they were taught:
thou shalt not steal.
they’d rather starve than steal
(one grape won’t save them)
and in tiny rooms
while reading the market ads
they’ll starve
they’ll die without a sound
pulled out of rooming houses
by young blond boys with long hair
who’ll slide them in
and pull away from the curb, these
boys
handsome of eye
thinking of Vegas and pussy and
victory.
it’s the order of things: each ones
gets a taste of honey
then the knife.

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E Cummings
over 5 years

Love this one, as much as it hurts to read the time-worn truth. Instantly thought of it when I listened to this report tonight, when Gwen Ifill and the Pulitzer-Prize winner mentioned the pride of the elderly, briefly--so thank you for posting this so I was easily able to look it up.Would you be able to correct one small typo? In the third to last line, "ones" should read, "one".Thank you.

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Joey Ward
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