Friday, December 16, 2005

A Holiday Poem


This day we give thanks
For our daily bread
baked of the fruits
of the soil we've bled
Be thankful now for
The turkey you're carving
Cause not too long ago
Our country was starving
While the food in the fields
Lay, rotten, forgotten
Homesteaders evicted
For a few seasons' cotton
You can see what happens
when market forces override
The health of the land
On which we subside
The dollars won't tell you
What's happened to our soil
That it will run out of nitrogen
When we run out of oil
We engineer the corn on which
the turkeys are fed
turkeys from cages
in factories stained red.
Red yams sweetened
with third world cane
The slaves who now feed us
Aren't kept in our name
Our blacks are now free
but not to own land
Unless they still cultivate
with the work of their hands
Because The Department of Agriculture
Does not subsidize fuel
To the people still waiting
On forty acres and a mule
Those in our country
with African blood
are now kept in the cities
most likely to flood
I'm not saying white farmers
have an easy row to hoe
if you're not a corporation
You can't gain from what you grow
Did you buy yourself
a supermarket turkey this year
Was the bread on your table
Genetically engineered?
Even at our tables
we don't give it a thought
Except maybe to give thanks
For who we are not
The burdened small farmer
Now going out of business
Or our grandchildren after us
for the starvation they may witness
We turn on the television
We gorge ourselves gaseous
But the effects of our culture
are sure to outlast us.

--Joji Kohjima

Joji is a student at Tacoma Community College, planning to continue his studies in anthropology and sociology.


At 8:49 PM, Blogger spiral said...

Quite hard-hitting. Thanks for posting this poem.


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