Standing on the sidewalks
billboards of poverty
smiling without energy
Dancing in unison,
throwing sticks in the air,
telling bad jokes on cardboard:
a liberation struggle gone awry.
Smiling without energy,
needing to be smiled back at,
or maybe just peeking in to scout what you have:
coins in your ashtray (saved for your parking tickets)
Watch their faces reflected in your widows,
in rearview mirrors,
watch glass slide conveniently between worlds.
“I’m a good person.”
“They must work harder.”
Clown faces, clown hair
modern jesters, fingers of irony
built into a fist
pummeling all sense of humanity.
What good flowers jesters make?
planted on paper and left to bloom.
What magnificent tragedy to paint
in the silence of our inhumane wombs.
The sleek plastic in our hands,
the warm bath to ease the pain,
the hording , the saving, the collecting:
who’s free: the jester or the joked about?
“We’re good people? “
“We work hard for our money”
The ones who pretend to be blind
the crippled legs, the cripples minds,
pawns on a chess board built for Kings and Queens
pawns like us without weapons of paper green.
The jesters laugh,
the curl under trees,
Shakespeare is alive and well
begging at street corners for pennies.