Peasants – Poem by Day Williams


The afternoon sun beat on the clods and the sticks, 
Birds flew to the shade and rested, ignored, 
While the peasants worked the field, a crew of four.

“We will take the wealth and pride from the rich, 
Give their gold and silver to the sick and the poor, “
Boasted the peasants as they hoed the rows.

So they grabbed machetes and took from the rich,

And the neighbors and families had more, much more.
Crowed the peasants, “We’ve hit it in the core,

And we won’t invest and wait like the rich; 
We will break the windows, raid the liquor stores, “
Vowed the peasants before they passed out on floors.

Prices rose like parrot screams to high pitch, 
Not a man or woman worked anymore, 
And the bosses burned down the house of the Lord.

The bosses took peasants from the floors and the ditches, 
Strapped packs on their backs and gave them bright swords
And ordered them to march, march, march to war.

A few straggled back in tatters and stitches
To the crumbled village square, where they roared, 
“We clobbered them in front, knocked them down before, 

And left only a handful of rebels who twitched-
How the blood spattered their doors and their floors . . .
Our names will go down in this country’s lore.”

And a crippled child asked, “What of the rich? 
Have they been destroyed, gone forevermore? 
Do peasants control the whole country’s stores? “

A soldier chuckled and said, “What of the rich? 
They backed both sides in our bloody war
And they control the whole country’s stores.”

And he hitched his pants and scratched an itch, 
Picked up a hoe in the dust by the door
And hobbled toward fields to start on his chores. 

~Day Williams

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