Social Justice Poetry

House for Sale in Shady Acres | A Social Justice Poem by Donal Mahoney

The question isn’t why
your little world is
suddenly going to hell.
The question is what
can you do about
the black couple

touring the house
on your block where
the sign just went up
day before yesterday.
The neighbors are calling
and everyone’s asking

what can be done
before they buy it.
Old Smitty is barely
cold in the ground
but he can roll over
as often as he wants
because it’s his kids

who own the property.
They live miles away
and want money instead
of the house so why
wouldn’t they sell
to the first buyer

who meets their price
and can get a loan.
That’s the American way.
Maybe you don’t care if
the couple moves in
but what can you do
while flames of anger
rise around you.
Not a damn thing

at the moment because
the neighbors burn
like Agent Orange.
But if that couple
buys the house you can
go over and ring their bell
at high noon some Sunday,

take a pie, shake hands
and say welcome to
the neighborhood
and tell them there’s
no place on Earth
like Shady Acres,
something they’ll
discover too soon.

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