Society of Death

And death was in the rickety public bus that rarely if ever came
Death was in the mediocre poetry that slept as the world was in flames

Death was in the garbage-strewn streets and in the boarded up libraries
Death was in the face of the humiliated unable to pay their bills

Death was in the bright red Ferrari as it drove by a homeless girl
Death was on the face of the soulless that read nothing and cared for less

Death was on the face of the prostitute who sold her body for lucre
Death was in the dying middle class as it collapsed, lost upon the main

Death was in the luxury watches and in the five figure rents
Death was in the abandoned youth that knew neither books nor morality

Death was on the face of the newspaper that printed naught but lies
Death was in the eye of the doctor that knew neither compassion nor autonomy

Death was in the artificial dollar that was printed as if it were a trifle
Death was in a faceless future without literacy and without jobs

Death was on the face of the lonely, the alienated, and the forsaken
Who knew neither love nor friendship to offer hearth and solace

And above all death was on the face of the indifferent, the apathetic, and the
Deranged, who shrugged as their world came tumbling down, never to rise again

David Penner has taught English and ESL within the City University of New York and at Fordham. His articles on politics and health care have appeared in CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, Dr. Linda and KevinMD; while his poetry has been published with Dissident Voice. Also a photographer, he is the author of three books: Faces of Manhattan Island, Faces of The New Economy, and Manhattan Pairs. He can be reached at: 321davidadam@gmail. Read other articles by David.