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21st Century Poetry Who owns this ‘country’?

by Marge Piercy

The rich have spoiled almost
everything. They have driven
residents from any hamlet
by the sea, gentrified
cosy neighbourhoods, some
historical. High rises, boutiques
replace funky local eateries,
markets with ethnic foods.
They make money off bad air
that chokes, darkens skies.
They make money sending
jobs to sweatshops overseas.
They raise rents higher, higher
till most people have to leave
cities, neighbourhoods they
grew up in, knew neighbours.
They buy hospitals and turn
a profit. No insurance? Out
you go. Do you need a pill
required to save your life?
Big Pharma didn’t grow huge
keeping drugs affordable.
They love AI — never complains.
No unions, pensions, benefits.
If you don’t have the wealth
this is no longer your country.
They buy politicians, elections
own media and in fact, you.

This poem first appeared in The Monthly Review, a US Independent Socialist Magazine.
Marge Piercy is a US activist, feminist and writer. Her work is rooted in her Jewish heritage, Communist social and political activism, and feminist ideals.

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