Sunday, February 19, 2023

poem

 Courage is a Dead Currency

In this country courage is a dead currency

No longer a legal tender

Accepted in any reputable stores

Its coins and banknotes are counterfeit 

Try slipping a Canadian quarter 

In the vending machine

And nothing happens. No guttural rumble

No churning of inner gears

Nothing falls. The slot remains empty

No matter how hard you pound the red fa├žade

There’s nothing we can do to stop it

So many of us have exhausted ourselves

Suffering the years to accumulate

Now worthless little mounds of green bills

Little nest eggs to draw on

When the time came to be brave 

Some hold on to it, hoping it comes back into fashion

Or accrues an inexplicable nostalgic value

In the new mediums of exchange 

Like a mint condition Honus Wagner card 

Probably best to just burn it

Or get what you can for it

Pennies on the dollar

The wealthiest of us are all cowards

Have cornered the market 

On the only kind of currency that counts

If they want a little courage

Just to round off a collection

They can always go buy some

Like a forgotten Pissarro landscape

From a high end gallery

Hang it on a white wall in a long dining room

For everyone to see.  

A man with the yellowest streak

Will attest to its authenticity

It gains value by the hour

Just hanging there, doing nothing at all

For bankrupts like us it endures

As a work of priceless wonder

But for them it’s only an object of power


2/19/23

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