Social Justice Poetry

A Self-Made Man Today | A Social Justice Poem by Donal Mahoney

I flew out to see
a high school friend.
from many years ago.
He was poor back then
and I was better off.
A matter of parents
and what they did.

His mother was a maid
and his father a drunk.
He flunked out of school
and joined the Army
then built a business
and became a millionaire.

He picked me up
in a black Mercedes
and as we drove off
we saw a young couple
on the side of the road
holding a sign,
“Will Work for Food.”
A not uncommon
sign these days.

My friend told me
they’re throwaway people
and America must find
a way to throw them away.
It was a short reunion.
My wife was sick, I said.
I flew home the next day.
My old friend, poor in youth,
is a self-made man today.

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