Social Justice Poetry

Life in a Barrel | A Social Justice Poem by Donal Mahoney

When we were kids
growing up in the city
we had prairies
and a little hill
and we’d put Stevie
in a barrel and push him
down the hill.

He’d laugh and scream
all the way down.
He loved the whole trip
and wanted to do it again.
As little boys we were
happy to oblige him.

Everyone grew up
and went to college,
moved to the suburbs,
got married and had kids
except Stevie who stutters
except when he sings.

Every midnight he gets
on the subway
with his empty thermos
and barrels back home.
On Sundays they say
he sounds like Pavarotti
in the church choir.

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