One day the call will go out
All across the fevered landscape of America,
The call will go out to the grocery cart people,
The garbage bag people,
The all-night wanderers in the rain,
The busted and beleaguered,
Those desperately seeking shelter,
A quarter, a leftover taco, a kind word.
The call will go out and the haggard, dispossessed millions
With nothing left to lose,
Will trudge and crawl and drag themselves
To the centers of power
Where the sleek, slick weasels of mendacity and greed
Convene to conspire against humanity.
The discarded and disregarded will come together
In a vast roiling sea of despair and hope,
Of righteous wrath and ancient sorrow,
Of porcelain fragility and incalculable might,
To surround the great cathedrals of Mammon
And utter in one univocal and seismic cry
The overwhelming question, “Why?”
And the ground will shake and the foundations crumble,
The proud edifices will collapse,
The occupants of the upper floors
Will scatter like roaches exposed to daylight,
And the quiet generosity of the marginalized
Will become the new and immutable law.

Buff Whitman-Bradley’s newest book is And What Will We Sing? a collection of protest and social justice poems spanning the last 25 years. He podcasts at and lives with his wife, Cynthia, in northern California. Read other articles by Buff.