My ancestors worked these rolling hills
Culling food from seeds so small.
My grandmother sewed trousers on the factory floor
Making something, out of nothing at all.
But me, my hands are idle, like a fallow field
Laid off and waiting for a call.
I’m broken and bewildered, don’t know my place
I’m just nothing, nothing at all.
My children see no future in the work I did
They’re not likely to pursue a trade
And really who can blame them for the only wage
Is the commission that the broker made
The dealer and the trader make top dollar now
The deal’s the thing of value, that is all
But it’s only just a shell game, there’s nothing there
They’re selling nothing, nothing at all
Remember the map in the Britannica
With little pictures of all the things we made?
Now the map is empty, all those icons’ve disappeared
And are not replaced.
When the hungry farmer eats the seed
When the waterman fries his bait ‘cause he has no haul
When the fabricator buys what he could have made
Then he’s got nothing, nothing at all.
© 2011 Pamela Cardullo Ortiz