Cutpurse And Cutthroat

A pocketful of sharp pens and knives,
each a thing that can end many lives,
but when I ponder which is the best
I take the largest knife to the test—
two or three people may surely die
before I catch the policeman’s eye
whereas a pen can legally kill
MILLIONS with a legislative bill
that seeks to cut taxes for a few
while the poor who make less revenue
slave away at labors ever worse
for the sake of a CEO’s purse,
whether cutting safety at the mills
so the machinery comes off its wheels
and goes falling down, crushing workmen
into puddles of red jam, or when
the concrete mix is not up to snuff
and collapses from the mountain bluff,
or the insulin cost soars so high
it outstrips blood-sugar, by and by.
Look, an ounce of ink, or maybe less,
can make one hell of a bloody mess
and make more money from sacrifice
to Mammon, that god of wealth and vice,
and that is why the coin and the pen
are in the pockets of congressmen
and why a thief with a bloody blade
is not half so bad as thieves “self-made”.

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