Social Justice Poetry

Jeff Burt

A New Depression Photo for Walker Evans | A Social Justice Poem by Jeff Burt

In abandoned factories gather abandoned people
who no longer do anything with abandon.

The massive conveyor system of steady employment
has broken, the machinery of work has ground

to a halt, the rope unravels that leads to hope.
Wealth begets wealth. Like hand-me-downs, only poverty

gets redistributed among the poor.
See? A rich person is unlike any other, distinguishable,

but a poor person is like all others, extinguishable.
The large man in the photo crouching

in the dimly lit corner, he could be a couch-surfing teen,
an orphan, or turned another way, a single mom.