The Wages of Sin

Image:  Tubercular wife and daughter of agricultural day laborer. She had lost six of her eight children and the remaining two were pitifully thin. The mother said that she had tuberculosis because she had always gone back to the fields to work within two or three days after her children were born. Shack home is on Poteau Creek near Spiro, Oklahoma  U.S. Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information LC-USF34- 033601-D

The wages of sin
Are gilding the lily
In backrooms that poor folk ain’t privy to see
The wages of sin
Are feathering nests sir
Behind guards and gates shut against you and me
The wages of sin
In the Devil's own ledger
Tally what bosses suck out of what workers put in
The wages of sin
Are death on the prairies
And in Boweries and small towns across this hard land
They’ve made factories and farms
Into cemeteries
For dreams sacrificed to Supply and Demand--
From a hungry hollow-eyed kid
To a desperate young mother
Or a homeless heart-broken shell of a man
So, these wages of sin--
Let’s call a down payment
On the day debits and credits are squared up and trued
And the fat cats and bosses
Are called to account
And poor folks lays claim to what poor folks are due
And poor folks lays claim to what poor folks are due