Wealthy and Wise................................................
House with doors
And marble floors
Purchased from the finest stores.
A room for this,
A room for that,
A room just for the Persian cat.
Closets full of fancy clothes.
Rings for fingers; rings for toes.
Shoes and shoes
and shoes and shoes:
High-heeled blacks and sandaled blues.
All the towels say B.A.F.
And next to that a treble clef.
A full-time maid, a part-time chef,
The nanny's name is Stephy Steph.
The grand piano shines and glows
The blacks and whites in grid-like rows.
But who knows how to play?
It's just for show.
Upon the walls are photographs
Where family members pose and laugh.
Picture perfect on the walls
In studies, dens and entrance halls.
The TV is a mammoth beast
On which the family's eyes do feast.
Of course there are some basic rules
(The mother won't raise child fools).
The programs that they watch are smart.
They teach kids social skills and art
And math and letters, 1,2,3
A, B, C, D, E, F, G.
You will not see a single book
On any cranny, shelf, or nook.
But if it's magazines you seek
A new batch comes most every week.
They tell you how to fix your hair
And where to buy your underwear
And what to drink and how to stand
And how to get the perfect tan.
They tell you who did what with whom.
The stacks fill up entire rooms.
The dining room is quite a site,
Gargantuan in length and height.
The table seats about eighteen:
Perfect for a king and queen.
A chandelier, a silk bouquet,
Curtains glow from light of day.
So, who enjoys this fine display?
When the time for dinner comes,
When Chef O' Flinner's kitchen hums
The dining room stays closed and cold.
"It's just for guests," the kids are told.
And when it's time for morning meal
The mother, one day, says with zeal
"Don't take so long! They should be through!
You're so, SO slow! What's wrong with you?!"
The nanny clears all plates and cups.
She tries her best to hurry up.
The next day Stephy does the same.
The mother's eyes tear up with blame.
"The kids aren't through yet, can't you see?
Let them finish! Let them be!"
And so we have our family.
In a village far away
Where barefoot children shout and play
A woman's house is made of clay.
The roof is corrugated tin
Which keeps rain out but lets mice in.
A rustic stove, a cardboard bed,
A stray dog looking quite well-fed.
For forty years she's lived right here.
(Her husband, too, for all those years!)
It seems as though they're awfully poor
With muddy floors and no front doors.
But they say, "It's enough, and more."
Just outside this one-room shack
Outside the shanty full of cracks...
Flowers! Flowers everywhere!
Dripping from the humid air,
Creeping from the earthen ground,
Flowers! Flowers! Color sound!
Her garden seems to spread for miles.
Every wrinkle on her smiles.
Back inside she starts to cook.
She plucks her apron from its hook.
She slices, chops, and stirs and fries.
The onions water up her eyes.
She works for hours, on her feet,
Kneading, breading dough and meat.
Now down the hill she takes the treat
But stops where Dirt Path meets Dirt Street.
From the fields her husband treads.
(A long day's work! He craves his bed...
But meets her at the road instead.)
They walk along the sandy trail:
A bumpy code like dotted Braille.
At last they reach their neighbor's place.
With wrinkled smiles and with grace
They offer up what she's prepared.
"The best meal is a meal that's shared."
They give away their kitchen's best
Because their neighbor's having guests.
And though they don't have much to give
That's just the way they like to live.
Slowly walking hand in hand,
The richest folks in all the land.