J. Barrett Wolf

J. Barrett Wolf


The next time somebody says
corporations are people,
I want to see the court documents
charging BP with the murder of
The Desert Storm vet, the father of two,
The guy with the wife who was 9 months pregnant
when the fireball consumed her husband.
On that oil platform.

I want to see where some entity is charged
with capital murder and negligent homicide,
arrested and made to defend themselves in court and
sentenced to at least the sixteen years in jail
Kenneth Payne, an actual person, got for stealing a snickers bar in Texas.
If there is no trial and no guilt and no sentence and no jail
But there is a check cut to the survivors,
Skimmed from an expense account
and written off their taxes,
You don't get to tell me that
corporations are people, my friend.

The next time somebody says
corporations are people,
I want to take that person for a walk.
I want to pass with them
through iron gates
walk with them green fields
where the rocky earth has been tilled flat
and the only stones are polished clean
and standing at attention.
I want to point to the names on those stones:
like B. W. Rice, W.G. Smith-Chappell or
Kareem Rashad Sultan Kahn
and ask where we can find the names
of corporations that have died
defending this nation
or any nation so conceived.

The next time somebody says
corporations are people, you tell them
to shove that judicial fiction up their
Limousine's tailpipe and stop trying
to convince us it's OK to forget
that we've already been robbed
more often and more effectively
by the men with fountain pens
than any army with its swords and guns.