Pocket Change

Editor back-issues, Janet Buck, poetry

“What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish?”
T.S. Eliot, “The Wasteland” — 1922

As locust of grief gathers its legs
for the pounce and traffic spins
in its clotted grave,
answer escapes by channel of fog.
I am seized by the question’s thrust–
turn toward ways you fanned a purse
and opened it on Christmas Eve.
A man with his face inking a sign
marked homelessness, dotting
your “I” with a tear of having more
than your heart required in wallet clutch,
pushed you to extend your gift.
You dropped $5 in his lap.
He smiled the way a cock must crow

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