Today's poem is by Thomas Lux

Ode to Chronic Insolvency

I lived in an apartment
where, when it rained, my fire escape
served as dishwasher and, in winter,
less reliably, as refrigerator: one morning I peeled
and ate two frozen eggs.
Now I am ashamed of my ingratitude.
I was healthy, except for a lung
which hurt sometimes.
I had experience: I'd washed dishes,
driven a school bus, been a night watchman.
If I could drive a bus,
I could deliver things, from a truck.
Instead, i stayed in that grim apartment
as winter began to rage across an ocean,
which locals called a lake. Once a week,
I'd teach a class, after which the students
bought me a sandwich—they, too, necessitous,
though less ungrateful than me.
They weren't much younger—I was 26—but
they were in college
and I only worked, marginally, for one.
For which I was ungrateful.
My mother sent me $15 for my birthday,
and 25¢ for the EL, ride home: $13.75,
a windfall, I was ungrateful,
(because she was my mother)
shamefully ungrateful.

Copyright © 2015 Thomas Lux All rights reserved
from Five Points
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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