Social Justice Poetry

Caseworker: Yams and Plantain | A Social Justice Poem by Donal Mahoney

The Housing Project
Summer in Chicago)

Bienvenido’s comin’ over,
says his wife,
to ‘splain me

why the kids
have got no rice,
no beans,

how the landlord’s
shovin’ notes beneath
the door again.

In Puerto Rico Bienvenido
dug up yams,
was paid in plantain,

came over here,
brought his wife,
then his kids.

First New York,
then Chicago,
gave up yams,

gave up plantain,
just to drum
and make a living.

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