Social Justice Poetry

Dennis E. Rager

Trumping the Homeless | A Social Justice Poem by Dennis E. Rager

Into the largest homeless settlement in Manhattan,
workmen advanced like troops of General Patton.
Dastardly avoiding demolition in broad daylight,
for fear, advocates would say, “This is really not right!”

Because the billionaire developer now owned the land,
from the railroad yards all squatters had to be banned.
The henchmen made their move in the approaching twilight,
hoping advocates wouldn’t admonish, “This is really not right!”

The crew was ready to begin construction,
so the shantytown was doomed for destruction.
With orders to clear everything from the site,
as advocates protested, “This is really not right!”

The hard hats remembered the riots in Tompkins Square,
when they were only doing what they were told was fair;
so they prepared themselves for a possible fight,
as the advocates warned, “This is really not right!”

Demanding all squatters promptly vacate the spot.
and anticipating someone might possibly get shot,
they worked in advance of the dawns early light,
over advocates repeating, “This is really not right!”

The bulldozers were coming. The danger was great,
so banishing the trespassers could no long wait.
Ordered to remove all remnants of urban blight,
they ignored advocates chanting, “This is really not right!”

The squatters were given no time to pack,
but they moved on, and they didn’t look back.
When none of the homeless were anywhere in sight,
the advocates plea echoed, “This is really not right!”

With few belongings in hand, they all took to the streets.
The developer was victorious. They accepted their defeat.
The homeless resigned themselves to this grievous slight,
disregarding the advocates’ cry, “This is really not right!

Before sunrise, the abandonment was complete,
after all the former settlers made a hasty retreat.
The billionaire, who was not in the least bit contrite,
ignoring advocates saying, “This is really not right!”

Reluctantly, they retreated, this homeless little band,
desperately searching for another piece of vacant land
to settle until their eviction some entrepreneur would incite,
while the advocates still insisted, “This is really not right!”