Riches

Written for:  Poets United Midweek Motif~Wealth
The subject of Wealth is today’s topic: whatever wealth means to us.

“To be wealthy and honored in an unjust society is a disgrace”–Confucius

Weekend Glory
By Maya Angelou

Some clichty folks
don’t know the facts,
posin’ and preenin’
and puttin’ on acts,
stretchin’ their backs.

They move into condos
up over the ranks,
pawn their souls
to the local banks.

Buying big cars
they can’t afford,
ridin’ around town
actin’ bored.

If they want to learn how to live life right
they ought to study me on Saturday night.

My job at the plant
ain’t the biggest bet,
but I pay my bills
and stay out of debt.

I get my hair done
for my own self’s sake,
so I don’t have to pick
and I don’t have to rake.

Take the church money out
and head cross town
to my friend girl’s house
where we plan our round.

We meet our men and go to a joint
where the music is blue
and to the point.

Folks write about me.

They just can’t see
how I work all week
at the factory.
Then get spruced up
and laugh and dance
And turn away from worry
with sassy glance.
They accuse me of livin’
from day to day,
but who are they kiddin’?
So are they.
My life ain’t heaven
but it sure ain’t hell.
I’m not on top
but I call it swell
if I’m able to work
and get paid right
and have the luck to be Black
on a Saturday night.

Here is my attempt:

Gilded opulence
drapes cathedrals
and museums in
The Vatican. Lavishness
of detail inside and out
overwhelmed me. Rebelliousness
caused me to cringe,
as I thought of those
on the fringe, living
in poverty–always witnesses
to the riches poured
into foundations, for which
the poor gave everything
they had to erect a building
of ornate worship.

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About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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8 Responses to Riches

  1. Rosemary Nissen-Wade says:

    I enjoyed Ms Angelou – and I resonated to yours even more!

    Like

  2. witnesses to the riches poured
    into foundations, for which
    the poor gave everything

    True in many instances. What meager earnings the poor will sacrifice but the rich hold on to theirs unless they gain something out of giving

    Hank

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Suzy says:

    Loved your poem. Wealth for one at the cost of others. You depicted that so well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jammy7000 says:

    That the poor have to become destitute in order for gilded opulence to be built in God’s own country is a sin in itself. I liked the contrasts you highlight in order to make your point.

    Liked by 1 person

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