Nonfiction > Upton Sinclair, ed. > The Cry for Justice
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Upton Sinclair, ed. (1878–1968).
The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest.  1915.
 
The Straight Road

By Paul Hanna

(Contemporary American poet)
 
THEY got y’, kid: they got y’—just like I said they would.
  You tried to walk the narrow path,
  You tried, and got an awful laugh;
And laughs are all y’ did get, kid—they got y’ good!
 
They never knew the little kid—the kid I used to know;        5
  The little bare-legged girl back home,
  The little kid that played alone—
They don’t know half the things I know, kid, ain’t it so?
 
They got y’, kid, they got y’—you know they got y’ right;
  They waited till they saw y’ limp,        10
  Then introduced y’ to the pimp—
Ah, you were down then, kid, and couldn’t fight!
 
I guess y’ know what some don’t know, and others know damn well—
  That sweatshops don’t grow angels’ wings,
  That workin’ girls is easy things,        15
And poverty’s the straightest road t’ Hell!
 
 
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