Southbound, downwardly mobile in
A knocking ten-year-old LeSabre,
Totaled once and salvaged, rust
Gnawing at the rocker panels like
Fire at the curtains in a melodrama,
I imagine those for whom such news
Must matter: sauve, smooth-featured types,
Untroubled by the odd details
Of racing forms or powerball,
Who, while I drove truck or counted stock,
Were wisely planning their estates,
Diversifying portfolios, or buying
A summer place with acreage.
Yet how their evening now is shot!
How flat the chardonnay, how bland
The tips of tenderloin must taste!
Of course, it’s not the Dow alone—
The dollar’s through the roof, T-bills
Have plunged, and, even now, the wife
Is pussyfooting at the club.
How birdsong-sweet and full of joy
Seems my life by comparison:
The Gulf’s two hours off, where rigs
Pound at the solar plexus of
The earth, and where, on moonlit nights,
Perfumed mulattoes weave like snails
By the shore, leaving shining trails.