Poem 20150407

From the #NaPoWriMo site:

And now our (optional!) prompt: keeping to the theme of poetry’s value, Wallace Stevens famously wrote that “money is a kind of poetry.” So today, I challenge you to write about money! It could be about not having enough, having too much (a nice kind of problem to have), the smell, or feel, or sensory aspects of money. It could also just be a poem about how we decide what has value or worth.


pieces of silver
jingle in my pocket
i remember
asking for quarters
on a hot summer day
when the asphalt heated up
and you could smell
the water running off driveways
like it had rained
and down gutters
foaming with dishwashing soap
while neighborhood teens
(sometimes shirtless)
washed their cars in cutoff shorts
(the girls sometimes in bikini tops or T-shirts)
asking for quarters
when the days grew shorter
but still refused to give up summer
even though the smell of autumn
with its brown leaves and dying lawns
and the first fireplace fires
spewed smoke out of chimneys
filling the air
and we played touch football in the street
until the lights came on
even then the ice cream truck
still rolled down the street with its
(was the driver really selling drugs?)
WATCH FOR CHILDREN warning painted in
(was he really a child molester?)
red letters on the back
turkey in the straw playing
endlessly on the speaker
wondering if i should get the bomb pop
and plopping down a piece of silver
and god dammit
why isn’t life as easy as that any more
why isn’t the value of something as cut and dried
as an ice cream
from an ice cream truck
when you’re trying to enjoy summer
or when you’re trying to pretend
summer isn’t over
when you don’t have enough coins left
in your pocket
to get someone nailed to a cross