Poems of the Week

Dutch Treat

by Julia Griffin

“A discussion panel at the Davos World Economic Forum has become a sensation after a Dutch historian took billionaires to task for not paying taxes.”—The Guardian

As Davos’ billionaires began
To scratch each other’s backs,
A strange, farouche historian
Leapt up and shouted tax.

“You do not pay enough!” he cried;
A slogan which forthwith
The massed philanthropists denied
As economic myth.

“Pray look around,” they urged him, stunned:
“Behold how much we give!
Our institute! Our special fund!
Our youth initiative!

“We’ve founded schools! Created jobs!
Just read this dossier!”
The ingrate answered, through their sobs:
“Don’t give before you pay.

“Tax, tax, and tax! No more BS!”
This unrefined refrain
Has guaranteed, as you may guess,
He’ll not be asked again,

Until he’s learned that truth the poor
Are so unapt to learn:
You cannot get a tax break for
An IRS return.