The Modern Beggar’s Opera
He is now the beggar,
Learning to beg when he came to Tennessee.
A poorer state than his mental was accustomed to;
He came from the sandy sea shores of New Jerzee!
Past lower standard road signs that engulfed him a charity.
Cast off from the casino coast as the beggar in the opera,
A part steeped in challenged integrity.
He learned how to plead.
From courtrooms to donations.
Asking how lives get to this station?
Lines at the food bank,
Social workers and a food stamp.
Massaged not to “worry” through personal indignation.
He became the Master of Ceremonies in the center ring,
Of the Beggar’s Opera.
Act One, Scene three;
Why fly south?
You see him the modern-day slavery!
To paper the toilet with benefits and not afford to buy a roll.
The playwright casts him impoverished,
Singing the hills of Tennessee blues.
There is too much of that already;
He’ll not commonly strum a guitar.
Granted a stipend for house rent,
Standing in a line that leads into a former school building.
Now used for adults to cry where formerly did children.
Because of all the years of this play,
He called me to vent and I wrote this for him:
Down and almost out, family had turned their backs;
Broke with no hope and at the end of his rope.