Dump us out
of the Ohio Blue Tip
proletariat box
Stick figures all
Strike us
Burn us out
Toss us aside
Steal our 401(k)’s
Hustle our stocks
Drop our cancer coverage
Burn our bridges
Watch us drown
from your yachts—
for corporate sharks—
Confirming the mis-match
between the promise
of the American dream
and the resulting

Bankrupt & bereft
Houseless & hungry
Proud & humiliated
Often Smith and Wesson’d
We exist
in the underbelly of society
a quagmire
of social safety nets
gutted by greedy politicians
who say poverty is our fault
invoking the magical bootstraps
from which we should pull ourselves up

We are
Ashamed & angry
Beaten & busted
Pushed & shoved
to the edge of insanity
the brink of humanity
Stick figures no more
Tired of turning cheek
Determined to confront the mis-match
between the meek inheriting the Earth
and Jeff Bezos’s insane net worth

Chris Kaiser’s poetry has been published in several anthologies by Moonstone Press, as well as journals such as Eastern Iowa Review, Better Than Starbucks, and The Scriblerus. His email address is Chris.newassignment@gmail.com. Read other articles by Chris.