You can’t afford the golden rule:
so, children, go to work at school,
and humbly study my example,
for as examples go, I’m ample.
I learned my history. It led
to teaching Fannie Mae and Fred.
Now fellow fat cats never balk
to pay me sixty grand to talk
and clap and cheer to hear what’s true:
your father’s sin’s belong to you.
It’s your fault if your dad’s a slob
and will not wash or get a job;
or if he looks but fails to find
employment, children, pay no mind --
it’s still his fault, and you’re to blame
for growing up to share his shame
if you forget your William Blake
and will not sweep, for pity’s sake:
what finer way to learn your letters
than cleaning hallways for your betters?
Ed Shacklee is a public defender who represents young people in the District of Columbia.