Social Justice Poetry

At the Grocery Store | A Social Justice Poem by Donal Mahoney

We’re troubled by the very rich
we see only on TV and worry
about the poor who sleep at night

in doorways and in parks, the truly poor
with little more than the clothes they wear
and things they carry around in blue

Walmart shopping sacks, stuff that proves
who they are and hope to be again.
But we seldom see the retired poor

unless we shop at dawn in an
all-night grocery store and watch
them slowly navigate the aisles.

They see a banquet on the shelves,
food they cannot buy, and put little cans
in carts after checking every price

and hoping they will find something
at a price they can now afford,
something they loved eating years ago.

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