Social Justice Poetry

economic inequality poems

They Closed the Supermarket | A Social Justice Poem by Guy Farmer

They closed the
Supermarket he and his
Family shopped at,
The only one nearby,
The last vestige of
Normalcy in a strip mall
Populated by predatory
Loan places and
Thrift stores.

Now the only store left
In the neighborhood
Where they can buy food
Is the convenience store,
Where everything costs
A lot more and
Stretches their meager
Budget even more than
It already is.

People ask him why he
Doesn’t just drive to
Another store,
He politely keeps his
Response to himself,
It’s just not that easy
To drive when you don’t
Make enough money to afford
A car, insurance, or gas.

December 1954 | A Social Justice Poem by Roy Pullam

The wind penetrated my jacket
I hunched my back
Exposing as little
As I could
To the elements
The road was muddy
The gravel spun away
By the numerous cars
That travelled my street
I had no gloves
How ironic
That the cold
Burned my hands
Like scalding water
The mile
To Broadway school
Would be cold
The mist
Like smoke
Escaped with every breath
I watched my feet
Avoiding the puddles
Hopscotching my way
Up the road
We didn’t talk much
It was
As if the weather
Had frozen words
In our mouths
I longed
For a heavier coat
Cap and gloves
Like others had
But they
Were on the list
Of things
We couldn’t afford
A ride
Would be nice
But others
Their heads bowed
Walked with us
Across the tracks
The tracks
That separated the poor
From others
Whose parents
Owned cars
Children with parkas
Warm mittens
Oatmeal
In their stomaches
Often envy
Made me ashamed
Of where and how
I lived
But I told no one
For fear
It would find
Its way
To my mother’s ears
Adding guilt
To the burden
She already carried

Civility | A Social Justice Poem by Guy Farmer

Corrosive obsession with
Maximizing profits.
Feverishly channeling
Rivers of money to
Investors –
Private equity firms –
Executive bonuses,
Rather than
Supporting employees
Who will then have money
To spend and help
The economy prosper,
Or provide value to
Consumers who will be
More loyal and make the
Company more successful.
Scream communism when
The words fairness or
Sharing are mentioned,
Though they aren’t
Political terms,
Just basic civility,
Treating hard-working
People with respect and
Giving customers an
Honest deal.