True Value

I am American.
my family once owned and operated a store.
my dad fought in the Korean War.

I saw the economy change three decades ago.
many seem to have forgotten, so let us remember.
there were family hardware stores.

there were local markets.
there were toy stores.
there were sporting goods galore.

all family owned and operated.
not in factories, where humanity is separated.
commercials would have you believe in big box stores.

that their prices help the average family.
that they give jobs to the poor.
that one can find a career or even more.

this was the promise of cheap labor.
which betrayed the mom and pop stores for a top few.
who were sacrificed for me and you.

all the generations of Americans
who no longer have the storefront they were born to run
forced to work with Wal-Mart or face the economic gun.

we ignore the sweat shops and lack of human rights
so our household budgets can save and be light
to buy more redbox and Netflix and X-box.

let us not get upset when it all comes toppling down.
don’t be too distraught when you lose your job again
because each purchase you made had more than a price

it had a value.
the value we so easily traded away.
so we could have the cheapest price today.

we dismissed the power of the consumer, for in God we did trust.
we ALL consumed cheaply and we ALL will pay deeply
for not caring about our future.