CM ( / North Bay, Ontario)

How Will We Pay?

How will we pay?
In dollars, in pounds, in yen, in blood?
What is the price of our freedom?
Is it measured in who we are, or what we can buy?
Does the benefit of looking away outweigh the cost?
You cannot make a spreadsheet for suffering,
You cannot analyze the market of pain,
Yet, how is it that, in the land of the “free”, a business deal can outweigh a peace treaty?
A simple transaction, money for blindness, thirty pieces of silver can buy a lot,
Yet who do we truly betray?
Those caught in wars we care more about fighting than winning?
Those whose cries for help that we ignore?
We betray ourselves, every time we walk through the doors of that store,
Trading ideals for low prices,
Our souls for a half off sale,
How many bodies crushed by a tank does it take to buy a five pack of gum,
How many ruined lives can be traded for a cheap sweater?
In economics, we learn about supply and demand,
We demand the material, no matter who supplies, no matter what the cost,
Because if it cannot be formulated, it doesn’t exist,
What if every time we capitalize on our foreign investments, we lose interest against our humanity?
Buy and sell, demand and supply, cost and benefit,
When did this become the vocabulary of happiness?
When did this become right?
When will the cost become too great?
How will we pay?

by Catharine Macauley

Comments (1)

When did this become the vocabulary of happiness? This poem should be written in golden letters and exhibited on the floors of United Nation Assembly in USA, whose members should answer each pertinent question of the day. Hats off to Catharine Macaulay for her bold rendering of this timely poem.