James of Manning, South Carolina

James of Manning, South Carolina

I’ll bet you think the caste system
Is reserved for India or the far east,
But what of the American man
Who volunteers to sweep

The butts and trash you throw away
From the sidewalks and lots:
Then he comes inside to ask if
You can spare a fiver from the slot.

Of course you can’t but you
Give him a hot cup and he goes away.
Which he does because there are
Other lots to sweep today.

I’ll bet you think your job is safe
Handing out donuts, coffee and tea.
It’s not if the boss across the street
Picks a foreign locality.

And what of the man who sweeps so well
And his kids who he never sees?
Do you ever stop to think or tell
Of his life of misery?

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