I saw a man at a street vendor’s today He was engaged in the enterprise of buying fruit His expression was a breath short of displeased He wanted a bargain; he planned to depart with his loot. The air conditioned grocery store was his next stop Where he paid three times as much for some shrivelled carrots. I watched these transactions in the street and the store The poor man got swindled; the rich just made more I watched capitalism play out its gory game But I just watched, my mouth was scotch-taped.
I saw a runner deliver food today To someone in a swanky neighbourhood The man came out, took his food, turned around The rider waited a while, staying where he stood But the man had disappeared into the embrace Of his upmarket condo, his ultra elegant space Discretionary income was for parties and clothes Doling out tips was for mass market folks I watched these Economics of One play out But I just watched, my hands were bound.
I have seen these and many more Unbalanced, unequal, sad acts of trade The shiny big ones always splashed with largesse The small, modest ones always selfishly made. The serendipity of kindness and grace The simplicity of a helping hand Are like ships that we have lost at sea Broken pieces now and then washing up on the sand. I watch these exploits crush and agonise But I just watch, I am paralysed.