THE GLEANERS

thegleaners

THE GLEANERS

Pop top rings and coffee cups
Were dropped across the sound
Of paper screams from campaign mails
Discarded on the ground.
A splash of spray paint lettering
Spelled “Bobby Loves Marie”
And left a message of its fate
For passing friends to see.

And the children asked their elders
Questions of their brothers
Of things that seemed to matter
Of things they had to know.
Are these the gleanings,
Forgotten in-betweenings,
The measure of our meanings
As we come and go?

Two girls passed the masterpiece
And walked away enraged
They guessed about the artist
His parents and his age.
A sailor and a merchant passed
And argued as they walked
Of rising unemployment
And the hopelessness of talk.

And the children asked their elders
Questions of their brothers
Of things that seemed to matter
Of things they had to know.
Are these the gleanings,
Forgotten in-betweenings,
The measure of our meanings
As we come and go?

The lady rolled her window up,
The chauffeur changed her tire
As Bobby sprayed her limousine
For rich men to admire.
Later in her drawing room,
Her husband called her down.
“A lady has no business in
The dirty part of town.”

And the children asked their elders
Questions of their brothers
Of things that seemed to matter
Of things they had to know.
Are these the gleanings,
Forgotten in-betweenings,
The measure of our meanings
As we come and go?

Brent Kincaid
Summer 1976

 

(This is a song and I have written music for it.)

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