Mermaid 1 - Copy

by K. Andrew Turner

Poverty is not always visible,
here in America.
Sure, our homeless roam
the streets (though we ignore them,
ignore that we can house them).
See the shining sun,
the endless amber waves
of grain, swaying.

Here, it can be invisible:
a woman in line using WIC;
a man spending SNAP
for his last dinner of the month;
an older woman scraping by
on unemployment and savings,
her health failing;
a McDonalds’s employee working
her 40 hours and another job
just to afford to live—her husband
does the same;
a family of five in a one bedroom;
obesity on the rise, because bad food
is cheaper than healthy food;
exploding health care costs,
because we refuse to treat the poor,
the sick poor, as people.

Close your eyes, here in America,
and those people vanish.
The sun shines endlessly.
Another rat race begins.

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