Workman’s Beef

To no avail, I tilled the soil that served
the interests of the bourgeoisie. Their seeds
would foster lots they scarcely had deserved
and left my own plot festering with weeds.
The social contract that my parents signed
before the fine print was explained to them,
was dubious. For some kids were designed
to serve electorates who’d, down the line, condemn
them on the very ground that they themselves
enjoyed. Nor can we bank on norms we’ve got.
For what use are the law books on our shelves
if pols decree things that subvert the lot
My labors helped to foster privileged ends,
while streetwise tactics stopped me in my tracks.
My job was serving fellow citizens,
while grantees siphoned off what I’d been taxed.
It seems this country hasn’t any rules
except the ones they lay on docile mules.

Born and bred in New Jersey, Frank worked in New York for many years. He loves music from Bach to Amy Winehouse, World Music, Latin, opera. Shakespeare is his consolation, writing his hobby. Frank likes poets Dylan Thomas, Keats, Wallace Stevens, Frost, Ginsberg, and Sylvia Plath. Read other articles by Frank.