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The Schmooze

POEM: ‘Ghazal: The Minimum Wage, 2014’

Having dinner before the president’s state of the union address
My beloved produces a rant on the topic of raising the minimum wage

He fumes as he has fumed on more than one occasion
it would be fucking good for the economy, raising the minimum wage

only he does not use this language. We are microwaving the wild rice.
What would reduce income disparity, aid consumption? a higher wage.

We are finishing the Thai spicy beef dish our granddaughter made
when she stayed over with us last weekend, cooking for no wage

but our love. We are eating spinach cooked with onions, coriander,
cardamom and butter. We agree that raising the minimum wage

has been shown by studies to have no effect whatever on unemployment.
We fiercely interrupt each other to announce this, which is the wage

of marriage. Would congress approve a bill requiring companies like Walmart
and Target that employ more than x thousand people at minimum wage

to keep x percent as fulltime employees getting health benefits
along with their minimum starvation wage?

Not a chance, says my husband, not this broken congress, we pour another
glass of Argentinian Malbec, we drop the topic of the minimum wage,

I have a cookie with walnuts in it, the kind my granddaughter adores.
Soon we will see what the president says about the minimum wage.

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