Poverty’s Army. A Poem by RC de Winter

i remember the bodies
everything accruing to them in layers of rags
beaten brown bags sagging with defeat
sometimes an empty bottle as still life decoration
completing the sad tableaux
i remember stepping over them
around them
as i hurried through grand central
on my way to an expensive entertainment
heart heavy with pity but also with fear
wondering how in the land of milk and honey
so many could be disenfranchised
they cleaned out the station
no more reminders of what can befall
the best of us
the worst of us
I don’t know where they exiled them
but next trip they were gone
the wheel has turned as it always does
no longer society’s ghosts
the once-invisible army
has returned with a vengeance
too many conscripted
too many to hide
we know these people
destitution is an equal opportunity recruiter
no longer satisfied with broken men
the ranks swell with women and children
with the corporate cast-offs
of a world burdened with too many drones
not the ones that kill
but the ones who would work if work could be found
and now i
once a card-carrying member of the comfortable
walk the knife-edge of poverty
around every corner i turn
waits a death’s-head recruiter
with a paper bag a shopping cart a dumpster
how long before i too wear the uniform of the lost?
© 2014 RC deWinter ~ All Rights Reserved poverty’s army


RC deWinter is a writer, digital artist, photographer and musician currently living and working in Connecticut. Her art and poetry have appeared in print, notably in the New York Times, Uno: A Poetry Anthology, Pink Panther Magazine, Arts Creation Magazine, The Sun Magazine, The 2River View and The American Muse as well as in numerous online literary publications. Five artworks were licensed to ABC-TV for use as set decor for “Desperate Housewives”. Ms. deWinter is honored to be the first digital artist invited to exhibit her work at a four-week October 2011 solo show at the Arts of Tolland Gallery in Tolland, Connecticut.

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