Tough

Your second hand rugs,
worn thin where someone paced
before you got them.

You windows that get washed
once a year. Your car in need,
always, of something out of reach.

Clothes that never
measure up to how
they were pictured before purchase

because they were pictured
as solutions or answered prayers,
when they were in fact just clothes.

The few things of substance
you cling to: an heirloom cup or two,
one sturdy chair, good pots and pans

collected piecemeal
at Goodwill, at the Sally store,
at the perpetual yard sale

two blocks over, every Sunday
morning; the same place you bought
your warmest overcoat.

You do your best though
every bill feels like
a wound and lately

blood has been seeping through
what you’ve dressed them with.
You stay home, away from friends,

from your past life,
as much from fear
of being seen this way

as because you can’t afford
to step too far off the path
you need to walk just

to stay here, to keep
the little bit of an address
you’ve got. Instead you tell yourself

those rugs aren’t going 
to wear themselves transparent.
You’ve got all night and all day,

all of tomorrow and next week. You’re tough.
Plenty to keep you busy. Plenty
left to be ground down.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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