Harry Stanton and the Dirty Thirties
Harry Stanton is out on the street
singing, "Brother Can You Spare a Dime?"
After thirty-six years of slavish devotion
he just didn't get it.
As the company accountant
you must learn how to add.
Two plus two must always equal
whatever the company wants it to be.
The howl and shriek of Father Coughlin
was no help when trying to pass for white.
The air was polluted with ghastly lies
about the Christ-killers who owned the banks
while fomenting revolution.
So the kike, sheeny, and the dirty Jew
were nothing but trouble as the
good Germans of the day would say.
Mounting dread short-circuited sleep,
Harry Stanton worried away the night.
Psoriatic scratching only deepened his angst.
The familiar glow of a Lucky Strike,
a beacon of light.
Finally asleep, just before dawn
he dreams his most favorite dreams:
a yellow mammaliga oozing kashkiaval
or pulling up mackerel in East Moriches.
Never failing to rise with the sun,
impeccably dressed in his Rogers Peet suit,
checking for Parker pen, watch and comb,
reporting for work at 120 Wall Street.
The Bank of America gobbled up the company
spitting out loyal cadre over fifty.
Ghosts of the past
walk slowly to a waiting handshake
as jobs were replaced by recent graduates
ready to play by newly minted rules.