Gilded

was I ever
a good socialist?

debating economics
and resistance
in colonial artifacts,
bourgeois cafés,
y comedores

burning from
the plight of the poor
the cruelty of class
the callousness of power

eventually returning from
the colonies para los EEUU
to carry on the struggle,
with time, shifting
movement to service

strolling past the famous,
long befallen mansions
– Buffalo’s Millionaire Row –
now home to do-gooders
and Samaritans like myself

I can’t help feeling
nostalgic melancholy
for careless repurposing
and shabby repair

sacrificing grandeur, spaciousness
for a few more desks
or a new funding source
for as long as they hold out

while today’s
Pratt’s, Clement’s
Knox’s, & Goodyear’s
live far out of plain sight
even as income inequality
returns to historic heights
of America’s gilded past

© 2014-2017 Brian Brown-Cashdollar

2 thoughts on “Gilded

  1. Thanks. We were certainly not champagne growing up, but I probably went to school with folks who would fit that description. Ironically, I started this when I was out of social change work for more than a decade and I’ve finished it now that I’m back. Thanks again.

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