Two Scavengers in a Truck, Two Beautiful People In A Mercedes

The poem describes four people stuck at traffic lights – two are garbage collectors and two are an elegant couple in a Mercedes. The poem is about the contrast between these people and the divisions between rich and poor that exist in American society. The description of the couple as “Beautiful People” is perhaps ironic as the term was first used to describe those had held countercultural ideals during the 1960s. The poem questions whether America can be called a democracy given the disparities in wealth between the two people.

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