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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

Ron Salisbury

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.

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