Keeping Up With the Joads

We ain’t got no money honey
but we got sunshine all the time.
No job this year no house no more
no future and no hope
and it’s hot and dry this summer
living here in grandpa’s house.

Wish we had some hot dogs and
a barbecue to cook ‘em on.

Grandpa said it always rained
in the nineteen thirties
rained on and on for days on end
‘course he was on the road back then
seemed the sun would never shine
like sunshine cost the wealthy something.

Our people still ain’t hit the roads
still a step above the Joads
so heavy rains are holding off
a’waitin us to reach the end.

When the checks ‘n food stamps cease
cut backs for a budget fix
and kids at home begin to starve
the spirits of the Joads will join
a caravan to somewhere else
then the rains will come again.

When you can’t remember life before
and we’re all living in the camps
we’ll pick tomatoes for forty cents
to feed our kids and patch our tents
taking jobs from Mexicans.

And you’ll think about what went before
all your choices what went wrong
how you never thought you’d ever miss
the slamming of your old screen door.



About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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3 Responses to Keeping Up With the Joads

  1. sojourner says:

    You are lucky you have readers who know of and have read Steinbeck!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. beetleypete says:

    ‘The Grapes of Toritto’s Wrath’?
    Nicely done, Frank. Topical, historical, and literary, all rolled into one excellent poem.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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