It’s a sad posture I’ve been placed in.
The gates are guarded and I can’t
jump the fence; the peptic nature
of too much roughage. Pills for this,
pills for that. I guess I’m here
to reflect on my omissions and sins:
don’t gamble with the Gods
or dick around with fate.
All that’s left is Social Security,
an old Chevy Van and the dog,
even he doesn’t do what I say.
I want someone to miss me
before it’s too late. I want to be Mister
again, assistants who write down
my thoughts, strategies, my plans,
to have it mean something to someone
again. Business class? No.
First Class when I fly. It’s my schedule
that counts, my reports they quote.
I want a reason to wear expensive suits,
my rare skin wing tips. I want money again.
I want hair I don’t have to dye.
All my wives were younger and taller
but when I stood on my wallet
I looked them square in the eye. I want
to be that vain son-of-a-bitch
one more time before I die.
Ron Salisbury is a writer who has integrated his poetry with his business life for decades. For many years he was chief real estate appraiser for a major bank and more recently owned and operated Deaf Dog Coffee, a seven-store chain of espresso bars in Sonoma, Petaluma, and Santa Rosa. Now, three wives deep, four children long, and assorted careers past, he teaches and works as a building and real estate consultant. His poems have been published for years in both domestic and foreign literary journals. “Payback” is taken from his collection Grapefruit and is reprinted by permission.