Payday Loans (25 of 31)

Because my mother whispered on the phone
so as not to wake my sister from her sleep
and face the darkening features of the grown
daughter on whom she banks for her upkeep;
because your father doesn’t remember you,
forgets ten minutes after you tell him,
pretends he knows who he is talking to,
and you, my love, may share his fate and shame;
because we won’t have children of our own,
and you or I must be the first to die,
and poems are rich outlay but poor loans
for dying years, good answers but bad replies;
therefore I’ll spend my days paying the cost
of work, too poor to gain Paradise Lost.


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