*Take a Good Look, Paul Ryan (A found poem NaPoWriMo 4/3/14)

“We have got this tailspin of culture, in out inner cities . . . generations . . . not even thinking of working or learning the value and the culture of work.” (Rep. Paul Ryan)

at her face.
quality moments with

Her booking photo.

Touched by
the woeful cast
of her expression?

Moved by
the tears
trickling freely?


the realness

Shanesha Taylor
cardboard cutout?

what so
many won’t.)

A human being!

Taylor arrested
last week
in Scottsdale

Two kids in a car,

Door locked,
windows open a crack.
job interview . . .
no one to watch them

No excuse! Took a chance!

desperate for work.

The enemy,
lazy taker,
moocher scavenger?

An animal,
an entitlement mentality,
an addiction?


Cut her welfare.
Cut her food stamps.
Her unemployment benefits.

About the
double-dealing banks?
“They” say

About the $500
million a year on
empty military bases?

About $159 million
on buildings in Afghanistan
not used?

But urban legend spread:

using food stamps,
a little too content—
Can’t shut “them” up.

This is the real problem.

48 million,
poor people,
this country,
face of poverty.

The lie stands.

The poor—
no lobbyists,
no TV network,
no interest group.

So, it remains a lie.

Take a moment
with Taylor’s face . . .
wasn’t a scavenger moocher,
didn’t feel entitled lazy

Just a person!

to work
for her children

the true face of poverty.
*Found poem content taken from essay “The true face of poverty” by Leonard J. Pitts, Miami Herald.


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