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We Who Have Sold Out, by Bruce Embree

          We who have sold out
are working on dreams of sheetrock
and vasoline
Don't tell us we are shallow
We were denied your lonesome road
and guitar music
cursed with our own choices
which were to go to work
          Your smoky nights and poverty
they all at least pretended to care
when you took a notion to go out and lose your mind
We put on our nigger jokes and coveralls
laughed as we hated everything, ourselves especially
and had no tears
          The pretty words, carved rocks
and canvas you decorated?
We buy tigers or big eyed kids on black velvet
          Our curses are not for your freedom
or songs of protest
They are for the dues we paid
They are for turning around one morning
and finding we were nobody
          Yes we are working on dreams
We who have sold out.

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