Â The VW needs serious transmission work,
the Datsun blows a radiator hose,
Blue Cross wants $425 right away,
the last checks of December come back
bouncing off the wall at $8.50 a crack,
the turntable quits spinning,
mildew overtakes the bathroom walls,
thereâ€™s $50 worth of developed pictures
at Fotomat you canâ€™t afford to pick up,
the old typewriterâ€™s gonna cost $30
to fix up so you can rent it out.
You bite into an apple & hurt your molar
on the stem the same molar with root canal
work done last January & itâ€™s time
to go in for a checkup. Theyâ€™re gonna kick
you outta the screenwriters guild if
you donâ€™t pay up the 2 yearsâ€™ back dues.
The City of Los Angeles owes all
the money you spent in travel costs
to do a gig way back in November,
the radio you bought your son for graduation
fell apart & itâ€™s cheaper to buy a new one
than have his fixed, the Xmas briefcase
your wife gave you its handleâ€™s slipped off
already, prospects keep growing colder
as the water youâ€™re in grows hotter.
You know itâ€™s January when you have to stop
& pay close attention to what youâ€™re doing
wrong that seemed O so right last July.
— from Heaven: Collected Poems 1956-1990
Â© 1992 by Al Young