Friday, November 13, 2009

Poem: "The Old Wallet"

The Old Wallet

he cannot see from the surface
of a wealth he cannot keep
--Eavan Boland, “Making Money”

Pocket of pockets, my old wallet keeps
the likenesses of long dead Presidents,
credit card, coins, stamps, memberships,
but not a photograph of love. My reason?
I thought that the mind is a fitter place
for images of illimitable grace.
The old wallet will do for society
but soul resides not in skin but in me.
Yet now I see the mind exchanges love
so easily for venom and forgets
the daily accumulation of its debts
and bad seasons it is a veteran of.
So I am asking for a photograph,
Love, on love’s behalf.—

*

3 comments:

Shropshirelad said...

Pushkin would be proud!

Good job, sir.

Gregory Lewis Bynum said...

Thank you for this poem Jee Leong. I think I've often seen minds exchanging love for venom, which is grieving; I appreciate the way you put that.

Jee Leong Koh said...

Thanks, Eric, for turning me on to Pushkin.

Thanks, Greg, for reading. I needed some way to eject the venom.