A Vendor’s Complaint



For 6 cents and not a nickel more

Right off the vine

You can still smell the earth on ’em

“Hey pretty lady, won’t you by some t’matoes for your family”

“No, I shan’t. I have no more money to spend in this place”

“Me lady, I’ll drop the price for ya”


“Just a nickel and this lovely bunch could be yours”

“No. it’s still too much”

“Then be off with ya!”

“Scatt! Begone. Ya poor sack of bones”

I sell my product fair and square

Never going above the price

And when the poor folks come

I give them free rice

For all my hard work

I’ve never made a cent

And now they come to beg

My shop is open six days a week

And I still can’t get a good price

My heart is in the right place

With all this debt I have to face

Straight-laced boots tied

I spend my days in the market

Trying to make a life

“I can’t sell ya all me vegetables if it’s not a fair price”

“I’ll tell ya what, bake me a bread”

“Just like my mum used to make”

“And when you’re done, I’ll buy it for a fair sum”

“It will be a trade”

“Then you can be on your merry little way”

They barter and they beg

I have no choice but to give

I see those teary faces

And all my heart breaks in me

Call me a mush or what you like

These poor kids are starving into the night

They have no homes

No family to love

Call me a beggar

But I am doing the work

For the one above

And when my time comes

I’ll make a deal

Strike it fair

My works for an entrance

And a gold perch

There I shall rest my days

In a stupor haze of delight

Thanking God for the trade

I made that night

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