Heartless Marketers

Right, right,
Write on your cardboard slats
In wind and rain to tell
The tales of all your pain

Dive through intersections
Where traffic can’t help but
Inspect your woes on display

Markers on posters pointed to
Each oncoming lane, asking for
Empathy and spare change

Every one of you holds
A degree in marketing

Using pithy cardboard
To make drivers feel guilty

‘It’s my birthday’, says one
‘Need food for family’, says another
And on one corner stands a man
And his ungroomed dog

Have sympathy for us, they cry out
In a concrete jungle free and
Clear of altruism

Reaching out for heartstrings
And wallets to the ends
Of acquiring money

It’s a grind unlike mine
But still they grind

As I’m idling at a stoplight
And the man at work points
His paper sign at me

But an act of ‘goodwill’ isn’t
What I spend money on
Like there’s a such thing as

Feel-good capitalism

No, I struggle and consume
With a coffee in my cupholder
In the car that I pay for

Knowing my spare change
Would never change
What jobs he takes
Because
He’s not my responsibility

And I drive on

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