If you are born poor it’s not your mistake, but if you die poor it’s your mistake.” —Bill Gates

We admire the philanthropist for “giving back”
and ignore what they first had to take away.

It is a sin to need help and a blessing to offer it;
there is profit in not asking too many questions:

How does one with no boots
pull himself up by his bootstraps?”

Why teach someone to fish
then deny them access to the lake?”

We are only 4.25% of global population, and yet
we own 28% of Covid-19 fatalities. But don’t worry,

our billionaires, dying to restart their factories,
donate to food banks so the underpaid don’t starve.

But we do not weep for the hungry—this is America!
We are each one sixty-hour workweek away

from striking it rich. We refuse to quarantine our dreams;
if 200,000 perish, that’s the price of freedom.

Someday we’ll erect an immaculate monument
to those who died for the good of the economy.

Image credit:Sharon McCutcheon

Andy Posner grew up in Los Angeles and earned an MA in Environmental Studies at Brown. While there, he founded Capital Good Fund, a nonprofit that provides financial services to low-income families. When not working, he enjoys reading, writing, watching documentaries, and ranting about the state of the world. He has had his poetry published in several journals, including Burningword Literary Journal (which nominated his poem ‘The Machinery of the State’ for the Pushcart Poetry Prize), Noble/Gas Quarterly, and The Esthetic Apostle.