When the fruit was ripe, he asked, “Who will pick my tomatoes?”
“Not I,” said the banker.
“Not I,” said the lawyer.
“Not I,” said the businessman.
“Not I,” said the legislator. “Especially not I!”
“Not I,” said the jobless man.
“Not I,” said the homeless man.
“We will!” shouted the Latino immigrant.
“No you certainly shall not,” said our state national governments. “You shall hie yourselves right back to Mexico where you belong! How dare you come up here and take good jobs away from our Americans! Go home and continue to live in abject poverty there. We obviously don’t need you!”
And so, these few tomatoes that did get picked, by the farmer and his neighbors, were eaten by the banker, the lawyer, the businessman and the legislator, all of whom complained about the high prices; and by the jobless and the homeless, who didn’t complain about the prices, because theirs was paid for with unemployment pay, food stamps and charity.
And so, some of the crop was salvaged, but most of it went to rot, and the farmer and his family shall have no Christmas this year.
— Gene Addor, Steele