Saturday, April 7, 2012

I rarely post my own poetry largely because I don't think I'm a poet although I write a lot of stuff that is spaced on the page as if it were poetry. I believe in craft. I do not believe just anything becomes a poem. I do not know the poet's craft. I think you have to know what you're doing. Sometimes a small incident moves me very much and I write what I suppose is a poem. I have number of those. The poem below was one of those brief moment when I watched a small incident and it stayed with me a long time, it embodied something I wanted to share with others. Could I be "a poet and don't know it" as we used to teach in high school? I'm caught between the heart and the head.

Ten Bucks

When I was buying my coffee
The young woman in front of me
Bought a pack of cigarettes
And a $5 lottery card.
When I had said the usual hello
And thank you and had paid,
Waiting to cross at the corner
The young woman was waiting too.
She dropped the lottery ticket
Into the waste basket and lit a cigarette.
Five dollars up in smoke,
Five dollars in the garbage can.
Ten bucks … hey, it’s only money,
Easy come, easy go ...
a little hope, a little high.

I want to cry,
I want to preach.
The waste causes me pain
Like angina
In a heart too
Heavily loaded with life,
With travel to places
Where ten bucks
Is a week’s salary
For back breaking work
And will feed a famly
Barely and badly
With little hope.

1 comment:

marion said...

you are a poet!!! that was a great statement of the waste not only of money but responsibility to the world. And in such a few words, politicians could do with this brevity