Liz's Blog

November 1st, 2010

Dramatic Reading: ‘The Department of Free’

Zombie strikes again. This time with the fantastic poem, “The Department of Free.” Which inspired Scott to turn it into a dramatic reading. Check in out below. And click here for Zombie’s original post.

The Department of Free

Years ago, a wiser man
than you or I devised a plan
to dole out goods at zero cost
to those of us whose jobs were lost.

It seemed benign, so nice and kind
the plan grew to include the blind,
the old the lame then you and me,
and they called this plan
The Department of Free.

It started as a helping hand
to needy folks across the land,
so those who could not make ends meet
would not be forced out on the street.

Unemployment benefits
were just a start, because now it’s
free food, free homes, free surgery,
rebates, bailouts, loans — all free.

Now half of us just stand in line
all day long and gripe and whine
about the stuff we feel we’re owed
the list of which has growed and growed.

The line wends hither, the line wends yon,
and by and by it comes upon
a door above which we can see
those magic words:
Department of Free.

Once inside: a shopping spree
of endless handouts: it’s all free!
Drunken on entitlement
we grab a meal, a house, a stent.

The other half? We’re all employed!
Hearing this, you’re overjoyed
to know that at least some of us
have jobs and never cause a fuss.

But one last thing you ought to know,
our economic Alamo:
The place where we all work, you see,
is in the accursed Department of Free!

I push papers,
while he counts beans.
She helps seniors
and they help teens.
It takes a village to raise a child;
it takes a nation to run hog-wild.

Paul pays Peter, and Peter pays Paul,
yet neither makes anything at all.
Round and round the money goes
but where it comes from no one knows.

It all runs out eventually,
can’t simulate prosperity.
The shopping spree was just a dream,
a baseless potlatch Ponzi scheme.

With nothing left to give away,
The Department of Free itself must say,
“We’re all laid off, the end is near.
There’s no point working, even here.”

The last employed man not offshore
has just one more remaining chore:
Switch off the lights
and turn the key
in the broke
Department of Free.

From Medicare and Medicaid
came Medicould and Medishould
now Medimust and we’ve gone bust
we’re trust-fund kids without a trust.

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2 Responses to “Dramatic Reading: ‘The Department of Free’”

  1. Tim Cartwright SpaceGhost says:

    Really like the Dr. Seuss cadence. :)

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tim Cartwright, Liz Stephans. Liz Stephans said: Dramatic Reading: ‘The Department of Free’ http://bit.ly/9tDOeZ [...]

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