The Ingratitude Poem
I am not grateful for a society that doesn’t even have the intelligence to know when its pants are down, and lets itself be goaded with a stick into becoming a victim who attacks other victims. You’re too stupid to realize that the real enemy is not some poor fool who has it even worse than you do, it’s the person who has it immeasurably better, and he is the one who dines on your unpaid credit card.
I am not grateful for the fact that the system is fixed so that the card will not be paid, the auto loan will always exist, the mortgage will last forever, the student loans will persist beyond the grave. You have a good suit of chains, so buck up and sing, and for God’s sake, never complain.
I am not grateful for the feeling that no matter what I do, the outcome will be the same because the jury isn’t interested in my problems, the judge is stoned as usual, and his kids are out raising hell. They’ve broken into my bedroom and stolen my toys while I slept. Watch out, they’ll do it again.
I am not grateful for the terror that awakens me in the middle of the night when I realize that I am 55 years old, I have no health insurance, I owe taxes, and my taxes murder people but they’ll murder me if I don’t pay them. My husband dreams the same movie, but at least we can curl up in each others’ warmth.
I am not grateful that we have no compassion for the one who fails, the person who says he can’t keep up and needs a little extra time, a little extra warmth. Instead, we denounce that person as a loser, we don’t care if he dies, because he didn’t earn his keep. Everyone knows the planet will evict you if you don’t pay your rent, and there is a steep extra fine if you pay after the fifth, so you’d better keep moving.
I am not grateful that the meek will end up as coffee grounds, fertilizing the bases of trees at the tropical resorts favored by the wealthy, leisure class. We had no aspirations anyway, and should be content that we were the very best coffee grounds we could possibly be, and at least we had it better than the dirt.
I am not grateful for the expectation that I should somehow apologize for my anger, as if I haven’t earned it by being a woman and an abuse survivor and lower middle class. I am told to despise people who have it worse than I do, but I refuse to submit to that. Fuck you. Someone should point that handgun at you that you love so much—not shoot you, but just make you do a silly little dance that will expose you for the ridiculous ass that you are.
By Leah Mueller
Leah Mueller has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her contest-winning chapbook Queen of Dorksville was published by Crisis Chronicles Press in October, 2012. She was also one of the 2012 winners in the Wergle Flomp humor poetry contest, sponsored annually by Winning Writers. Her work has appeared recently in Cultured Vultures (as Poem of the Week), Silver Birch Press, Bop Dead City, Writing Raw, Dirty Chai, Five 2 One, Quail Bell, Talking Soup, and the Rain, Party, and Disaster Society. She will be featured this fall in Origins Journal. Leah resides in the rain-drenched Pacific Northwest, where she broods, dances, and practices yoga.