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My Five Cent Life
userpic, warhol
I do it at the end of
every month. And I no
longer feel dirty
when I finally make
it home again:

Cashing in a month's
worth of empty pop
bottles. I drag two
huge sacks to the
store--in the funny
little granny cart
a friend bought me
for my birthday

last year. It's only
a four block walk,
but I get odd looks
from at least a dozen
people before I get

there. They think I
must be homeless or
insane. And look at
me like I'm little
better than dirt.

I used to stare right
back. To let them know
I could see the filth
they tried to hide
within. But it all
got to be a bit much,
and I taught myself
to become immune to it.

They might have fancy
new cars, and own big
houses with more rooms
than they will ever be
able to use. And their
clothes are so clean
and expensive: People
respect them for what
they own, not for
what they truly are.

But I am something
better: a much
published poet.
Editors call me
for more poems
about my five
cent life.

So I return my empty
bottles at the end
of every month, and
suffer the glares
gladly. Money does
not make you rich
or good. It is so
easily wasted or
lost. But a good

poem remains in the
world, long after
the poet is gone:
while the wealthy
ones that imagine
I am nothing but
dirt--will be
buried and forgotten
soon enough--with
only an enormous
tombstone to prove
to the world
they were ever
filthy rich,
and half alive.

Copyright © 2009 by Dylan Mitchell

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