I decided to write a documentary poem about a recent event in our city. Rooster saw on Facebook someone was offering free potatoes to anyone who could bring a bucket. I suggested we find a bucket and take them up on their offer since I have now joined the ranks of the unemployed, but I was glad I didn’t make an effort when I found out the entire operation was a con. I hear rumors two 65-year-old women were arrested for stealing potatoes. That’s why I wrote this poem I titled Buckets.
Hard times make poor folks impulsive and demanding
That’s my opinion of what lead up to this big misunderstanding
A social conscious truck driver with a master key
Opened the back of a trailer and offered its contents for free
Potatoes to everyone who brings a bucket
Word of the food giveaway went out on social media
Creating a sort of working-class mania
Potatoes stopped the Irish from dying in the past
Free is free, but only while they last
To anyone who can produce a big round bucket
The people came and stood inline
They stood for hours in the fall sunshine
Masks on their faces and hope in their heart
That the free potatoes might be a new start
So one by one, they passed up their buckets
Just about dark, the police finally came
They said the tow truck driver was to blame
Slapping handcuffs on the wrists of two old ladies
Who stood in line to feed their grandbabies?
They’re over in city lockup now holding empty buckets
You’ll never hear this story on the evening news
About the two cantankerous women who sang the jailhouse blues
The old men over at the Cup & Spoon’s liars table
Talk about it whenever they have an audience able
To listen to the tall tale about the empty bucket
The moral of this sad sob story has to be
Don’t trust social media when things are offered for free
Or you’ll be sitting in city jail waiting for arraignment
Suffering from a case of cruel disappointment
And all you have to show for your effort is air inside your bucket
Now for the rest of the story
I’ve tried to find documentation information about the arrest of the women. I fear that part of the story was made up at the Liar’s Table. I can’t imagine why the cops would bother. How much time can you get for stealing a bucket of potatoes?
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
Be sure to follow Molly on Twitter!