by George Ella Lyon

Kentucky Poet Laureate (2015-2017)


We should cut services to the poor because

big government is bad

we have to shrink the budget

the poor have shelters

food banks

those barrels we fill at the grocery


We have to get rid of Affordable Care

for the reasons given above

We can’t afford to take care of everybody.

It’s not our job.

They should go to the public health department

take responsibility

figure something out.


We should not raise the minimum wage because

those are starter jobs

and what would motivate folks to do better

if they had a living wage right away?

Yes, I see mature folks working at Mickey D’s

but that’s not my fault.

They should have got themselves an education

a foothold, should have applied themselves

Also there are churches to help these people


We should defund Planned Parenthood because

abortion is a sin against God

you conceived it, you bear it

give it away if you can’t take care of it

should have thought about that before

you opened your legs

we believe in the sacredness of life

just not yours

or those of people of color

or gays

or poor people

like those scraping by in the drive-thru


We are done with handouts

except to corporations

who are people

and who contribute a lot more to this society

than you homeless


minimum wagers


Get a life, why don’t you?

We got ours.


(c) 2015 George Ella Lyon. All Rights Reserved

George Ella Lyon’s books of poems include Driving with the Dead, Many-Storied House, and, with fellow poet J. Patrick Lewis, Voices from the March on Washington. She is also a novelist and author of children’s books (Which Side Are You On? and others). You can read our conversation “On books for the young”  here. — Carol Polsgrove, December 2015

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