The One in Which the City Council Strips Funding for a New Park from the Budget

I know I’ve seen his face before, seen him in the
company of men like himself and he was not so
tall then, not so impressive as he is now, banging his
shoe on the table, reciting words so clearly practiced,
shaking his finger and railing against spending and
the wasting of the people’s money on parks when what
the people need are good jobs and who creates jobs?

Businesses, that’s who, and to give away what could
be sold for the development of business is to deny
our citizens the thing they most need and so no more
parks until the last parcel of land is sold and the
last drop of water is bottled and the last bit of seed
corn is patented and profitable if not for the planters
then for the ones who hold the papers, and then you
can have your park and you can charge people to get
in and they’ll be able to pay because they will have jobs!

And he sits down and puts his foot back into his shoe
and glances up like a schoolboy to see the smiles on
the faces of his fellow councilmen and on the men in
suits lined up in chairs across the back of the room and
that is when I remember where I’ve seen him before,
he was so much smaller then, carried as he was in the
satin-lined pocket of the one who now sits on the left.

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