Social Justice Poetry

Cart Boy | A Social Justice Poem by Donal Mahoney

This megastore is a paradise of food.
It’s open all night, its parking lot lit
like a stadium in Texas on a football
Friday night but now at midnight
the lot is almost free of cars but
shopping carts are everywhere
like sheep waiting for a shepherd

who arrives at dawn, a young man
in a store jacket and store cap,
white shirt, store logo on his tie.
His badge says “Darius 3 Years.”
He begins to gather his carts
in a long train to push them,
as the caboose, back to the store.
His energy surpasses any clerk
I’ve seen work inside at any hour.

Soon more customers arrive
and more carts are rolling around
and Cart Boy, as Darius is called
by coworkers, doesn’t stop
going after them until a staffer
taps him on the arm for lunch.

One day I see the manager
in the lot watching Darius
with admiration and I ask him
why he doesn’t train him for
stocking shelves or cutting meat.
The manager offers a wan smile
and gives me another lesson in life.
“Darius,” he says, “is Special Needs.”

Visit Donal at

~ Your support keeps this site going.