(with apologies to John Prine)

When I woke up this morning
Things were not too nice
We’re called essential workers
But that don’t mean squat to ICE
We work the same shifts out there in the fields
No change
And all the streets in town are now deserted
How strange

Ah but fortunately, I am the key to your food security
And you won’t see me tonight
With my illegal smile
I’m out growing your crops
While you’re safe with your child
Won’t you please tell the Man
I didn’t kill anyone
No I’m just trying to fend for my son

Well they pay under the table
It’s been that way for years
We got used to moving
Got accustomed to the fear
Wife’s a cleaner — ’til the virus hit
Job gone
And online class don’t work if your kid can’t
Log on

Ah but fortunately, I am the key to your food security
And you won’t see me tonight
With my illegal smile
I’m out growing your crops
While you’re safe with your child
Won’t you please tell the Man
I didn’t kill anyone
No I’m just trying to fend for my son

Well I figure that this virus
Is gonna get us too
We got to feed the country
So what you gonna do?
They say they’re sending checks to everyone
Kids too
Except for if you don’t have any papers
Not you

Ah but fortunately I am the key to your food security
And you won’t see me tonight
With my illegal smile
I’m out growing your crops
While you’re safe with your child
Won’t you please tell the Man
I didn’t kill anyone
No I’m just trying to fend for my son
Well done
Hot dog bun
My sister’s a nun

John Tweedy is a writer, mediator, and documentary filmmaker.

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