Savage

Hunger strikes all my promises
hammer blows,
flattens them like a penny
placed on train tracks.

The veneer of civilization
falls like pounds
from beneath my tightened belt,
and my hollowed cheeks.

It has been years
since my hands formed fists
or my feet stomped
the life out of something small.

In this land of plenty
my predicament
hardens fingernails
to claw your shirt and face.

You armor yourself with laws
and institutions
and the false fronts of non-profits
to feed the poor.

You kiss yourself in public
for your generosity
at the same time that you lay-off
twenty-five thousand workers.

You may paint me as the animal.
Yes, I kill to survive,
while you practice industrial scale exploitation
and savage the folks who work the land.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

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