Iâ€™m still Poor…
Iâ€™m still Poor, Eating like a Yuppie who shops at the Boise Co-op
by Brandon Follett
I went to a food drive at a ski resort.
The big poster at the entrance read,
â€œOnly canned goods, Please.â€
I donated a can of Spam.
Itâ€™s odd that poor people
all seem to enjoy
water, and butter.
I went to a food drive at a bar.
Once again the big poster read,
â€œOnly canned goods, Please.â€
This time I donated an ear of corn.
Corn tastes good
with butter and water.
The social worker at the door
said, â€œPoor people only eat
water, and butter.â€
Iâ€™m in Thailand
Spent all my money
on restaurants and guest houses,
Iâ€™m looking forward
to being a poor and hungry person.
Itâ€™s been months since Iâ€™ve eaten
At the market,
I ask where to find a food bank
or how to get free food.
A farmer and I start talking.
He doesnâ€™t know where to get free food
but he too is poor.
He said, â€œWe can eat poor together.â€
I agree to free room and board
for several hours of farming and an hour English lesson
I sit down for my first poor persons meal.
Oh, I canâ€™t wait to dig into a big
plate of Kraft boxed macaroni and
a hot bowl of canned peas.
Instead, the farmer wrecks
my appetite with organic:
rice, tomatoes, catfish, coconut,
Day after day
to my disdain
I eat yuppie co-op food.
One day I tell the farmer,
â€œMan, you talk about how much you like America.
Youâ€™ve got a cell phone with a Britney Spears ring tone,
a computer with the latest pirated Microsoft software,
and a TV that shows Sponge Bob dubbed in Thai.
Donâ€™t you want to eat poor like an American?
Donâ€™t you want to eat food thatâ€™s bright orange?â€
The farmer replies,
â€œI hear what youâ€™re saying.
I too am getting tired of the same old fresh food.
The lettuce should be ready in about a week,
the mangos are almost in season,
and this year an avocado might appear.â€
I start to become passive aggressive through farm suggestions.
I mention, â€œLetâ€™s give the farm a make over:
chop down the fruit trees,
till under the vegetable garden,
fill in the fish pond,
burn down the duck house,
eat the water buffalo parents and babies.
Then buy a new shiny tractor
and a 5th of Johnny Walker black label
Weâ€™ll take turns trying to drive straight.
Weâ€™ll tear up the ground till we run out of gas
or run out of Johnny Walker.
Then weâ€™ll plant row after row
The farmer asks, â€œWhy?â€
â€œSo we can eat boxed macaroni!
The great farm state of Iowa
has to import 80% of their food.
Put all your time, money, labor,
and belly into a single cash crop.
With the money you make,
think of all the processed food you can buy.â€
The farmer didnâ€™t let me burn the duck house,
chop down the fruit trees
or eat all his water buffalo.
Iâ€™m still poor, eating like a yuppie who shops at the Boise Co-op.
0 thoughts on “Iâ€™m still Poor…”
my mother died. we cleaned her cupboards and took the canned goods (ummm. vienna sausages) to the foodshelf in Vallejo. everyone was happy. why? because most of their donations came from grocery stores looking to unload rotted produce. its a well-know fact poor people really dig spoiled veggies. incidentally, we kept the liquor.
by the way, good poem. I enjoyed it.
funny as usual. seems a bit forced, but when i imagine you reading it i put the pause(s) in the appropriate place to make it better.