Human Cargo

cars pass by and I despair
four lanes of them
five if you count the turning
for each one
I undergo a full grieving process
I mourn the fuels burned
mislead soldiers dead in Abraham’s land
lives spent exuding plastics
molding cup-holders
boxing up beaded seat covers
men with black lungs
foundry sweat faces
I mourn the road crews
arthritic jackhammer bones
potholes to be filled
tar to be smoothed
I mourn the drivers
their destinations and jobs
the bus loads of children
trucked off to school like cargo
like little products waiting to be sold
an inventor’s idea of a dream to come
I mourn the scam of it all
the trolleys and trains
that no longer run
the American prosperity
that dictates two for every garage
I mourn the loss
the lost and ruined cities
Flynt and Detroit
disposable wastes of an industrial age
I mourn the new workers
laboring at pesos on the dollar
in unregulated conditions
for untold hours on end
I mourn that they are happy and eager
to have those jobs
I mourn the vanishing middle class
the devaluation of goods
produced in Bangladeshi sweat shops
I mourn everyday
low prices
and that they must be fixed that way
to keep formerly affluent Americans complacent
so by the time they recognize what they’ve lost
it will be too late
to mourn

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