Our Child, America
I stepped up to the cashier
put my candy on the counter
to meet his unsure but friendly smile
You remember me?
You took me to Wendy’s for ice-cream …and we talked?
he inquired childlike.
Yes of course, I remember.
You were working with a lady on getting government benefits
medicare, medicaid and housing
how did it work out?
I make too much money, he says
they say I make too much money!
his eyes disbelieving
his voice appealing
I make $1500 a month, and
I don’t understand, because
I’m barely above the poverty line,
he volunteers innocently.
Adam’s a young white man
barely made it through high school
has no parental guidance or support
seemingly normal and street-smart
unwise, immature, insecure.
A boy-like man functional in a transactional world
only by his wits and ability to hide
within a veneer of grooming and behavior
of sealed lips and servitude
which he puts on before work, each day
so he can namelessly serve the function the world asks of him
without entering into our consciousness, our consideration and our days.
Is this child, who we mistake for a man,
to navigate governmental agencies and entitlements?
find subsidized housing and heating oil?
look for healthcare and insurance?
He doesn’t have all the tools he needs
not within himself, nor without
he retains no advocate, no care-giver
no sympathy, no empathy
He is a child of this country nevetheless
apparently one we might have failed…
So my questions come to You America
Who should be looking out for Adam?
Should anyone be looking out for Adam?
Is it anyone’s job to help him?
Should the state look out for Adam’s welfare?
Should Darwinism consume this our child?
Is incidental human sympathy his only chance?
Is he the acceptable collateral damage of our capitalism?
What if I re-ask You America these questions, on
Sunday morning at the church
Friday afternoon in the mosque
Saturday in the Synagogue
will the answers be different, America?
Are all your children equal, America?
the slow and the genius?
the enabled and the disabled?
the entitled and the ignored?
the poor and the wealthy?
the one with the bright future, and
the one with no future?
the Adam and the Eve?