In the park with George


I wake this morning in the park and my back hurts from sleeping on a bench.

The college students wear away from me or walk straight over my knapsack as if we are nothing more than trash they can ignore.

If anybody talks to me, it is to call me a bum, especially when I ask them for spare change.

My grandfather got more respect when he rode the rails as a hobo Ė railroad dicks thought enough of him to beat him up, put him in jail and give him a meal.

Me, Iím part of the untouchable mass of gray people who haunt parks at night, much to the rage of those uppity taxpayers who want to jog here without having to step over or around people like me.

Since we donít own houses or pay rent or taxes, the city hates us, too, just the way people use to hate gypsies.

If you canít be tied down, nobody wants to know you.

So the city turns off drinking fountains so we canít drink or bath, and local stories lock up or spray poison on their trash so we canít eat.

In some ways, the Nazis were kinder. They killed you quick instead of the slow torture we get today.

My father used to pity Jews who got chased from place to place or given a choice of dying or becoming Christian.

We get the same today as social workers invade our lives, forcing us into shelters and brainwashing us with the idea that we need to become ďproper citizensĒ so we can settled down into wage slave jobs and house every tax collected, mortgage company and utility can rob blind.

My cousin moved to New Jersey to escape. But things are harder there.

While you have woods to sleep in you also have kids who like to set people like us on fire, and only say theyíre sorry when they get caught.

My cousin barely escaped with his life when he and others set up camp alongside a river.

At first, it seemed like Eden, plenty of polluted water to drink and wash with, a few fast food trash dumpsters to raid if fish proved too hard to catch.

They never saw any of the cops coming.

They never knew what to say when the court sentenced half of them to a mental ward.

Maybe we are crazy.

Maybe living poor and free, hungry more than any of us wants, IS nuts.

But I donít think so.

It certainly shouldnít be against the law.

Even if the rich people with houses on the other side of the park think it should be.

All those folks want is for us to die so they donít have to keep paying taxes to get rid of us.



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