photo credit: tolbert

i saw the mailman steal my letter
i saw the tax man steal my dime
just when i thought things were better
i saw the preacher steal my time

i saw the mexican steal my border
and the terrorist steal my plane
gas so high i can’t afford’er
but i have to pump ‘er just the same

my boss became a very rich man
and his boss was richer still
i didn’t understand their master plan
and i suppose i never will

the dog pound repossessed my stray
the ford dealer took my car
it was on empty anyway
so i know he won’t get far

the banker closed my bank account
the gardener took back his plants
wells fargo got just a small amount
but levi’s repossessed my pants

alfani took the shirt off my back
florsheim’s now has my shoes
my new socks are from a gunny sack
least i don’t owe union dues

the plumber took my kitchen sink
the carpenter took my wood
so about this time i’m startin’ to think
if this is bad i need some good

tonight i’ll sleep beneath the stars
and feel a gentle breeze
i’ll wonder why god went so far
just to get me on my knees

i’ll listen for that still small voice
and hear what he has to say
that he had given me a choice
but i kept pushing him away

so while he had my attention
and i was so naked and alone
the government took my pension
they picked me to the bone

© 2012, tolbert. All rights reserved.

tolbert (24 Posts)

Born in Virginia and raised in North Carolina, I have Southern roots that were extracted when I lived close enough to Berkeley in the late sixties and early seventies to taste the influences of the pursuit of freedom. As a student at San Jose State University I watched William Kuntsler expound on the values of free speech and he offered more education in an hour, on the lawn by the baseball diamond than most professors gave in a full semester. Married for thirty years, I have two grown daughters and three grandkids,..and two Boston Terriers.


  1. Oh Tolbert, how sad that far too many know this story, suffer these losses, and have been ‘picked to the bone.’ Powerful messages here. Are we proud? Some days I am not so sure.

  2. tolbert

    :-) Thanks Cher. This was a little something in honor of ‘tax day’…

  3. Tolbert,

    It seems all who share the name, American, truly need to think what that entails. If it is all for themselves and the Devil take the hindmost, then what is there to be proud of.

    In our youth, the belief in possibility and opportunity abounded. Now, it seems many have had experiences and exposures that make those concepts seem like pipe dreams.

    My sons are struggling to make a life and make progress in the midst of this storm and I hope they do. Nonetheless, I do not think they have the same chances we thought we had at their age.

    Good words about a truly bad situation.


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