Monday, December 31, 2012

poem of the day 12.31.12

fiscal cliff

there was a time
when my old man
had to work two jobs to help support us
between he and my mother that was three jobs
struggling to pay rent and bills on time
packing lunches and making dinner
buying new clothing
for two oblivious boys
who they’d chosen to shove into catholic school
for a dose of morality
i don’t even remember what the old man did
at this second job
except that he didn’t have to wear a shirt and tie
like he did for the morning one
which i thought that was getting off easy
because i had to wear dress clothes in the fifth grade
and there was a time
that my mother didn’t have enough money for bread
and had to bum it off of me and my piggy bank
promising to pay me back by friday
as we marched through the january cold
to catch the grocery store before it closed
she promised me
as if i were her bookie or something

oh, those blessed fridays of paycheck salvation

my brother and i, we didn’t know nike or polo
from a hole in the ground
but there was always thanksgiving and christmas
a hot meal on the table every night
so neither of us had a clue
we thought the tears and the arguments were about something else
when i got older and shed my immortal coil
over-educated and unmarketable
dodging student loan sharks
tact that worthless piece of university paper on my wall
when it was my turn to wonder
now what?
there were bad paychecks and good ones
the good ones meant dinner out with my girlfriend
a used book or a used cd to sell again when money got tight
the bad ones meant the rent got paid
and you kept a count of your cigarettes for the next two weeks
but ghetto smokes on balconies could last a lifetime
watching the city an amusement unparalleled
and the laughs kept on coming through the low bank balances
and cheap pasta dinners
it never seemed as bad as it was
as child or as an adult
i never felt broke or that i was lacking
it always seemed like no matter what
that we were getting there
my family
my love and my friends
all of us hard and honest people
putting food on tables and punching clocks
struggling for rent and small joys
the ones who built this country up from the ground
this troubled promised land that our leaders
with their expensive suits and pensions
those pretty corporate chains around their necks
so hungrily want
to mash back into


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